ALAMEDA, Calif. — Derek Carr looked good enough Friday to force a decision.
An uninformed observer would have had difficulty at practice identifying which of the Raiders’ three quarterbacks was five days removed from a transverse process fracture to his lower back. Carr was one of five players listed as a limited participant. All five officially are questionable to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.
Clearly, Carr is on pace to return sooner rather than later. But EJ Manuel is the one who has handled the bulk, if not entirety, of first-team reps this week. He’s the quarterback who led a players-only meeting Thursday afternoon, a role reserved for the starter of the upcoming game. He’s the one who almost certainly will start Sunday.
Behind the scenes, Carr is campaigning to play, coach Jack Del Rio said.
“What all competitors would hopefully do,” he added.
Del Rio said Monday it “could be as short as two weeks” before Carr returns, referencing a timetable of two to six weeks that he was provided shortly before addressing reporters at a news conference. Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton missed one game to the same fracture in 2014.
In Week 6, the Raiders (2-2) host the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 16. That remains the most likely target date.
Right guard Gabe Jackson (foot), cornerback David Amerson (concussion), cornerback Gareon Conley (shin) and running back DeAndre Washington (hamstring) also are questionable.
Jackson practiced Friday for the first time this week. Amerson has cleared the concussion protocol.
— With the Oakland Athletics’ season over, the Raiders no longer will play on a home field that features dirt from a baseball diamond. They are the only NFL team that shares a stadium with an MLB franchise. That, of course, will change as early as 2020 when the franchise relocates to Las Vegas. “Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing to play on the cinder block,” Del Rio said. “We’ll tolerate it when we have to, but we’re definitely looking forward to having a full field of grass.”
— Wide receiver Michael Crabtree (chest), wide receiver Amari Cooper (knee) and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (back) were full participants for the second straight day. They were removed from the injury report, signaling they will play Sunday. Crabtree missed Sunday’s game at Denver because of a bruised lung.
An uninformed observer would’ve had difficulty at practice identifying which of the Raiders’ three quarterbacks was five days removed from a transverse process fracture to his lower back.