Before long, few are going to remember that the Raiders beat the Detroit Lions in an exhibition game at the Coliseum on Friday night. How well rookie quarterback Derek Carr played is going to linger.
Carr played well enough during extended action to stoke the flames about whether he or Matt Schaub is the better option to be the Raiders starting quarterback this season.
“He was better this game,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Carr, the team’s second-round draft pick in May. “He made some improvement. … Overall, he took a step forward.”
Health-wise, Carr took a step backward when he suffered a concussion and a rib injury in the fourth quarter of his second NFL game. Lions defensive end Larry Webster landed on Carr with all his weight, and Carr pointed to his midsection when he picked himself up off the ground.
Allen said the concussion was the reason Carr got removed from the game. There is no word on the severity of Carr’s concussion or whether he broke any ribs.
It’s interesting to note that Carr played the entire 2012 season at Fresno State with a sports hernia.
Carr was at his locker after the game, but he wasn’t permitted to speak with the media because of his concussion.
“Carr’s looking real good,” wide receiver Brice Butler said. “He’s coming into his own. This was his first game at home. I know he wanted to go out there and do his thing, and he did.”
Carr completed 9 of 16 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring drive, he completed all six of his passes for 76 yards.
Projected starter Schaub’s four drives yielded one touchdown. That came after a Lions penalty on a field-goal attempt kept alive a stalled drive. He looked sharp on his first drive, which ended when his pass into tight coverage got tipped into the air and intercepted.
“Overall, he did well,” Allen said of Schaub. “The touchdown drive he took us down there on was a heck of a drive.”
Last Saturday, Allen said he wasn’t inclined to give Carr any playing time with the first-team offense.
Against the Lions, Allen changed his mind early in the second quarter.
“No, I wasn’t surprised,” Schaub said of the move. “He did well. He stepped in and made some plays.”
Last season, the Raiders put their weight behind Matt Flynn as the presumptive starter. Terrelle Pryor beat out Flynn during training camp, and Flynn got cut early in the season.
Ultimately, undrafted rookie Matt McGloin supplanted Pryor as the starter. On Friday night, McGloin replaced Carr once he got injured and guided the Raiders to a game-deciding touchdown with six seconds left.
Allen said Carr was slated to come out of the game after he finished the drive on which he got injured.
Now it’s unknown how long Carr will be sidelined. However, once he returns it’s a certainty that the debate is going to kick into high gear.
In other news, running back Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a finger injury, safety Tyvon Branch hurt an ankle and offensive tackle Matt McCants and tight end Scott Simonson suffered concussions.
Rookie Khalil Mack recorded two sacks, including one sack — against Lions No. 3 quarterback Kellen Moore. Yet, Allen isn’t too concerned.
“There wasn’t a lot of production from the standpoint of (tackles), … but Khalil Mack is going to be just fine,” Allen said.
Allen said that Andre Holmes didn’t play much until the second half because he wanted to take a look at James Jones and Denarius Moore with the starting offense.