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Raiders QB Derek Carr takes full rotation with first team, says he’s rusty but 100 percent healthy

By Jerry McDonald
jmcdonald@bayareanewsgroup.com

ALAMEDA _ Derek Carr was back on the practice field and making up for lost time Tuesday.

Carr, who missed all three of the Raiders organized team activity sessions with a reported injury to the ring finger on his throwing hand, took a full load of first-team practice repetitions on the first day of the club’s mandatory minicamp.

“I’m 100 percent,” Carr said. “If I could be more than 100, that’s where I’m at.”

Carr’s return to the field did not bring with it disclosure of the nature of his injury.

“It’s a non-issue,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We haven’t talked a lot about it to this point and we’re not going to start now.”

Carr began practice with some medium-range touch passes to tight end and later threw with more velocity on slants to wide outs. Carr never appeared to unleash his best fastball, which may have had more to do with the layoff and rust than it did the injury.

“It started to get better as practice went on,” Carr said. “As more reps come, it will be more natural like it should be, but I was definitely rusty at first.”

Since the original ESPN report included the mention of surgery, Carr’s break from throwing _ he estimates it was between 30 and 40 days _ got a lot of publicity.

“It was minor,” Carr said. “There was nothing big to it. II just had to go through a little rehab and stretching and all that kind of stuff. I felt ready to rock a long time ago and I felt even better today.”

Carr was grateful to teammates who urged him to take his time.

“My teammates were telling me, `We’re not going to win games right now. Just relax,’ ” Carr said. “They todl me half the veterans don’t even show up to this kind of stuff anyway. I started laughing. It made it easier for me because I’m so competitive. I don’t care if it’s an OTA and we’re just throwing routes, I want to be the best. When I don’t have an opportunity to do that, it’s kind of hard.”

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Raiders QB Derek Carr graduates to throwing short passes during drills at organized team activity

ALAMEDA _ It was a mere five-yard flare pattern to a running back _ and a wobbly one at that _ but it was the closest thing to a forward pass seen from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in three weeks.

Carr was mostly a spectator during Tuesday’s organized team activity apart from a few short throws during drills as he recovers from a reported injury to the ring finger on his throwing hand.

The Raiders, citing team policy, have kept the details of Carr’s condition to themselves and coach Jack Del Rio remained circumspect following practice.

There has been no information regarding the injury nor an update on when Carr might be full-go other than he’s expected to be ready for training camp in late July. Whether Carr will do much throwing at the mandatory minicamp June 9-11 remains to be seen.

“We’ll do what we can, when we can, and he’s doing well right now,” Del Rio said.

Carr has been unable to work with receivers either during practice or on his own, but left tackle Donald Penn wasn’t worried that it will put him behind in terms of leading a new offense.

“I have no concern at all,” Penn said. “Derek knows this offense almost as good as the offensive coordinator. Derek is still the first person here in the morning. He has a good grasp of the offense. He needs to do what he’s doing _ take his time. You don’t win games right now. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. I tell him that all the time. There’s no rush.”

Carr did no throwing during the practice session open to the media three weeks ago and last week had graduating to taking snaps during drills and handing the ball off. He has not thrown in a live team session.

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