OAKLAND – Derek Carr had a stressful Sunday.
The Raiders quarterback remained calm during his fifth fourth-quarter comeback of the year and ninth since 2015, guiding his team to a 35-32 victory over Carolina. He wasn’t stressed when the Panthers scored 25 unanswered points in the second half.
There was a period where he lost some cool.
Carr was in the locker room early in the third quarter, eagerly awaiting x-ray results. Bad news was possible after a funky snap injured the pinky finger of his throwing hand.
“It was probably some of the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life,” Carr said.
A bum finger could’ve sidelined him a while, certainly for the remainder of Sunday’s game.
“I had a lot of questions at first,” Carr said. “Once I asked those questions and they gave me answers, there was no doubt in my mind (I was coming back).”
The answers were all positive. Carr’s finger wasn’t broken. He would have to deal with some pain and exclusively take snaps from the shotgun, but he was going to be okay.
Carr missed just one series. The Raiders sideline was worried about their quarterback, and felt relief when he charged back on the field. It was a sound, not a sight, that let head coach Jack Del Rio know his quarterback was back.
“(I knew Carr was back) when the crowd started to roar,” Del Rio said. “It was a roar too, so I knew it was good. That had to be either Charles Woodson, but he’s in the booth now, or Derek Carr.”
Carr was able to throw accurately with a supportive glove, albeit through some pain in the second half. He finished with 315 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, including a pair of scoring drives with the Raiders down in the second half.
It was another bullet point on his MVP resume, which gets stronger with each passing win.
Carr doesn’t believe there will be lingering issues with his ailing digit after getting it popped back in place.
“It doesn’t matter what happens, I’m going to practice,” Carr said. “I’ll play next game. I don’t imagine anything will happen. It just sucks.”
His teammates weren’t surprised when he charged back to the sideline, ready to go despite an injury to his throwing hand.
“He has a lot of toughness,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “I didn’t doubt that he would come back and play. I asked him if he was going to play. He was like, ‘Duh.’”