The Raiders suffered one of the most crushing injuries a playoff team has ever seen when Derek Carr went down with a broken leg during Week 16, yet they still have a chance at claiming the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
Carr will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and Schefter tweets the recovery time should be around six to eight weeks. The ESPN.com reporter added (via Twitter) this will be the first instance of a quarterback winning 12 regular-season games and not starting in the team’s first playoff contest since the NFL began the playoff format in 1933. The league began playing 14-game regular seasons in 1961 and moved to 16 in 1978.
A fourth-year pro, McGloin has not started a game since the 2013 season, when he went 1-5 and completed 55 percent of his throws for a much worse Raiders team. The 27-year-old backup — to whom the Raiders extended a second-round RFA tender this offseason — has thrown just 55 passes in the past three years. Cook has been the Raiders’ No. 3 quarterback all season.
Carr, who will enter a contract year in 2017 if he’s not signed to the extension the team is prioritizing, was pondering a miraculous return if the Raiders were to advance to Super Bowl LI behind McGloin. However, Carr’s chances of returning this season are incredibly slim, CSNBayArea.com’s Scott Bair writes.
“He started doing the math in his head, and he said ‘That’s Super Bowl week,'” NFL.com’s David Carr said, via Bair. “As a fan, I’m thinking, do the Raiders have a chance without him? For him, Derek feels so much love for this team, and he really thinks they can go out and [reach the Super Bowl].”
Coupled with the injury issue, the Raiders would have to advance to the league’s February game without the services of a player who was an MVP candidate — and do so potentially without a first-round bye. Oakland winning or Kansas City losing gives the Raiders a bye, but the now-eliminated Broncos beating their division rivals in Denver and the Chiefs topping a reeling Chargers team would send the Raiders to the No. 5 line in the AFC bracket. Illustrating the fluidity of the Raiders’ standing, they can earn the No. 1 seed with a win and a Patriots loss in Miami, which occurred in Week 17 of last season.
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