OAKLAND – Derek Carr didn’t play in last year’s preseason opener. No sense in the Raiders' franchise quarterback risking injury in a game that ranks low even among those that don’t really count.
Carr ran through the tunnel Friday night, started 2018’s first preseason game against the Detroit Lions and got out no worse health wise.
His drive didn’t include a first down and ended in a punt, but the Raiders tried a diverse play selection in their first game action of the year.
He was 2-for-4 for 11 yards, and should thank Jordy Nelson for breaking up a seemingly surefire interception.
Carr took a deep shot to Martavis Bryant that fell incomplete, found Nelson on the game’s opening play and worked with Amari Cooper in the slot.
The series seemed set to end in a score, but Marshawn Lynch’s 60-yard touchdown was called back due to a holding call against first-round rookie left tackle Kolton Miller. The hold was clear, and sprung the big run.
Carr gave way to Connor Cook and most of the starting offense did not return, save Miller and right tackle Ian Silberman. Both guys need the work, considering neither player has taken a regular-season snap at tackle.
The crew exited without an obvious injury, the only positive that matters this time of year.
Most starting defenders played at least two series, but the defensive debut was productive. The Lions were forced to punt after second-round defensive tackle P.J. Hall sacked Matt Cassel on 3rd-and-5, providing an interior rush lacking in recent seasons.
Also, safety Marcus Gilchrist, cornerback Gareon Conley and edge rusher Arden Key were among the first-team regulars who didn’t participate in the preseason opener.