Derek Carr’s Health Still Cause For Concern

It’s been two weeks since we learned about Derek Carr’s mysterious hand injury, and while there is optimism that the Raiders are simply exercising caution by limiting his offseason activities, some are concerned Carr’s issue could linger.

Peter King pointed to Carr’s health as one of the reasons he ranked the Raiders the second-worst team in the NFL. “It’s not that I don’t trust Derek Carr,” King said in this morning’s MMQB column. “It’s that I don’t trust Derek Carr’s health after what I’ve read about the problems with a finger on his throwing hand.”

One of the reports King was referring to may have been a National Football Post column last week where former team physician, Dr. David Chao, elaborated on Carr’s situation.

How minor is any injury that keeps a young quarterback from learning a new system and acclimating to new teammates and coaches? At this point, he has missed two weeks of practice. When talking about the likelihood of Carr being able to throw before OTAs end, his agent uses the word “probably”, not “definitely”. He also claims even if Carr is not ready by end of OTAs on June 4, he expects Carr to be 100% by minicamp, which begins June 9. Nerve issues typically don’t act this way. Numbness can be fleeting, but if it does last for weeks, as this one seems to have, feeling doesn’t come back in a matter of days. I am not saying Carr won’t participate in minicamp but going from non-participation one week and being 100% the following week on a nerve issue would be very unusual.

Chao also speculated on what the injury could be.

The agent has added that Carr doesn’t need hand/finger surgery. I would agree with that assessment, although I have not examined Carr or seen his medical records. Based on publically available information, if surgery became necessary, my guess is it would be on his elbow in the form of an ulnar nerve transposition (approximately three months recovery) and not on his hand or finger.

The next update on Carr from the team should come next week. Raiders’ mini-camp is scheduled to begin June 9.