Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is going to be out 2-6 weeks with a transverse fracture in his back. For many, myself included, hearing the news combined with how poorly the Raiders have played over the past two weeks was enough to all but shatter any remaining hope for the season.
But after a night of sleep and enough time to read more about the injury, I once again have hope for the season.
When you hear that a player has a fracture in his back, the immediate response is “OH MY GOD” because, you know, the spine is kind of important. And back problems can often be painful and lingering and have ended careers in the past.
But upon further research, a transverse fracture is not nearly as bad as it sounds. I’m not a doctor and my google research doesn’t get me anywhere near being one, but there is a sports doctor who has weighed in on the issue and this is how he described the injury:
Yes, it is a spine fracture. But this is an avulsion (pulled off) non-structural small wing of bone. It has no risk for paralysis or spinal cord injury. In fact, the bone doesn’t even need to heal to return to play.
That’s important to note along with the fact that other players like Tony Romo and Cam Newton have had similar injuries and only missed a week or two. That gives me hope that Derek Carr won’t be out the full six weeks and is more likely to be back within the early portion of the time frame.
That’s crucial because while this Raiders team won’t go very far without Carr, they can survive a few weeks without him.
The Hope Without Carr
Clearly Derek Carr is the most important player on this Raiders team, last season proved that. But this is still an offensive roster with a ton of talent and a defensive roster that has the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. It’s a roster that is supposed to boast one of the top offensive lines in the league, a deep running back group and a top tier duo of wide receivers.
And while the incredible talent of Derek Carr obviously made everyone on the offense around him better, the offense around him also made Derek Carr better. Let’s not forget that while Carr has grown and gotten better over the years, his play has also improved thanks to the Raiders continuing to stack talent around him.
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