Gruden optimistic Carr can start for Raiders

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) limps on the sidelines after a play against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Quarterback Derek Carr was a full participant in practice for a second straight day and is on target to play Saturday after leaving last week’s game with a groin injury.

Carr was given no injury status for the game against Miami on Saturday night, a sign he should be good to go against the Dolphins.

“I’m not going to say anything other than I’m optimistic, but I’m not a mind reader,” coach Jon Gruden said Thursday. “I just know he had an injury that caused him to miss the game last week and I’m respectful of that. He’s a tough guy, man. But I’m optimistic he’ll be ready to go.”

Carr injured his groin on a scramble in the first quarter last Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. He practiced on a limited basis Tuesday and then was a full participant the past two days.

If for some reason Carr can’t play, Marcus Mariota is in position to make his first start for the Raiders. The No. 2 overall pick by Tennessee in 2015 made his Las Vegas debut last week, throwing for 226 yards and a touchdown and running for 88 yards and a score in a 30-27 overtime loss.

Carr has a history of playing through injuries, having missed only two regular-season starts in seven seasons in the NFL. He broke his ankle in Week 16 in 2016, missing out on his only chance to appear in the playoffs, and missed only one game in 2017 after breaking a bone in his back.

Carr even played an entire season with a sports hernia in college at Fresno State in 2012.

Carr has thrown for 3,396 yards and 24 TDs and has a career-best 102 passer rating this season.

“He’s showed a lot of good things. I’m not going to let the cat of the bag here,” Gruden said. “I’m going to make sure he is OK. I’m going to make sure physically, he has a chance to wake up in the morning, go through his rehab one more day, and do all the things he needs to do against one of the top defenses that blitzes almost every play. So, we got to do what’s right. Mariota has also performed well, so like I said, we’ll have a quarterback under the center.”

NOTES: Nicholas Morrow went on the COVID-19 list a day after fellow LB Nick Kwiatkoski went on the list. S Erik Harris and DB Daryl Worley also are on the COVID-19 list. ... WR Henry Ruggs III returned to practice from the COVID-19 list and Gruden is hopeful he will play. ... S Johnathan Abram and CB Damon Arnette are expected to play after missing last week with concussions. ... DE Clelin Ferrell (shoulder) is out and DT Maurice Hurst (calf) is questionable. ... Offensive coordinator Greg Olson should be back on the sideline after missing last week in COVID-19 quarantine. Secondary coach Jim O’Neil is out this week because of coronavirus protocols and secondary assistant Taver Johnson will assume his game-day role.


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