The Las Vegas Raiders are playing for their playoff lives, and they may have their starting quarterback ready for Saturday.
The Las Vegas Raiders are playing for the postseason lives this weekend against the Miami Dolphins. Last week, the Raiders lost to the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime to send them to 7-7 on the season. Early in that game, starting quarterback Derek Carr left with a groin injury, with many fearing that he could be out for the final two weeks of the season. That doesn’t look like it’ll be the case.
On Thursday, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said he’s “optimistic” that Carr will be able to play in Saturday’s game against the Dolphins, but he’s not ready to make a decree just yet. Earlier in the day, Carr was removed from the team’s injury report.
Gruden is "optimistic" that Derek Carr can be ready to go Saturday but "I am not going to let the cat out of the bag … both quarterbacks have prepared to play." #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 24, 2020
Carr cleared to play, but how much?
We should get a determination of who will get the start between Carr and Marcus Mariota based off practice on Saturday. Given that the Raiders are facing a do-or-die situation, they obviously don’t want to tip off the Dolphins.
After Carr limped to the locker room in the first quarter against the Chargers, Mariota emerged and shocked the world. This was a quarterback who was sent packing out of Tennessee after being benched by the Titans in favor of Ryan Tannehill. Mariota gave us a glimpse of the Heisman Trophy winner for the Oregon Ducks.
Mariota completed 17-of-28 pass attempts for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while rushing for 88 yards and a score on nine carries.
Gruden will have to decide whether Carr or Mariota gives the Raiders the best chance to win against Miami (9-5), who hold the seventh seed in the AFC. Las Vegas’ path to the playoffs is a difficult one, as they need to win out the remainder of the season, while the Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens (9-5) each lose their final two games.