Derek Carr’s Return Will Be Dictated By His Threshold For Pain
Derek Carr is reportedly making a strong push to play on Sunday against the Ravens.
After returning to practice on Thursday, speculation that Carr might play grew even more on Friday when the Raiders officially listed their Pro Bowl quarterback as ‘questionable’ on the injury report.
A key factor in Carr’s return (whenever it happens) is that there is minimal long-term risk to the fractured bone in his back.
Dr. Jessica Flynn, a Boston area sports medicine doctor and NBC Sports – Boston contributor, spoke on the risks of playing with a fractured transverse process (Carr’s injury) and suggested that Carr’s status will largely depend on his tolerance for pain.
“A spine fracture sounds like a terrible thing, but this is a transverse process fracture which is really sort of the horizontal part of the back of the spine. So an injury to that structure really doesn’t damage nerves or cause any long term issues. As far return to play, it’s really dictated by pain.”
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Flynn added that from a medical standpoint there’s a “great chance” Carr could play if he’s able to effectively manage the pain that comes with the injury.
If the door really is open for Carr to play on Sunday, it will be a tough call for head coach Jack Del Rio. Backup quarterback E.J. Manuel was impressive in relief of Carr last week in Denver.