Raiders quarterback Derek Carr continued his ascension up the Raiders’ franchise record books with another multiple-touchdown game on Sunday. He also tightened his grip on a less flattering mark.
Carr’s two lost fumbles in the 36-20 road loss to New England gave him 26 in his career, the most in the league since 2014.
He has fumbled a total of 56 times over that span, second only to Russell Wilson’s 61. Carr was charged with a fumble on the pitch to Jalen Richard in Monday night’s win over the Saints, though the toss was accurate and should probably have been handled cleanly by Richard.
Carr has done plenty of good along with the bad.
He finished Sunday’s game 24-for-32 for 261 yards and two touchdowns for a rating of 119.4, his third straight game with a passer rating of better than 100.
He also passed Kenny Stabler for most starts in franchise history with 97 and took over sole possession of second place on the all-time list with 149 touchdown passes and 43 multi-touchdown games.
Carr will tie Stabler for the franchise record with one more touchdown pass.
Abram plays through pain
Raiders safety Johnathan Abram played on Sunday against the Patriots despite suffering a freak collarbone injury on Monday when he crashed into a TV cart in the Raiders’ game against the New Orleans Saints.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, a small piece of Abram’s collarbone chipped off upon colliding with the cart after chasing Saints running back Alvin Kamara out of bounds near the Raiders’ end zone. He also suffered an AC joint sprain.
Citing club injury policy, a Raiders spokesman declined comment.
On the play, Abram stumbled to the ground and then rolled into the cart, which was supporting a television camera. Abram continued to lay on his back as he tried to catch his breath. He left the game but eventually returned.
Abram was listed on the Raiders’ practice injury report this week with a shoulder injury but was a full participant during practice.
He finished with three tackles and his first career interception on Sunday against the Patriots.
Linebacker Nicholas Morrow has taken advantage of his opportunity for increased playing time since Nick Kwiatkoski left the opener with a pectoral injury.
Morrow had nine tackles on Sunday to lead the team in tackles for the second consecutive week.
Mistakes cost Raiders
Las Vegas got off to a 2-0 start this season largely because of how clean it was playing over the first two weeks.
The Raiders had committed just one turnover and six penalties through two games. That trend reversed course on Sunday.
Carr fumbled twice and Josh Jacobs coughed one up inside the Patriots’ 15-yard line to negate a scoring opportunity.
The Raiders were also flagged six times, compared to just two for the Patriots.
‘Smokin’ Joe’ steps up
Joe Thuney started at center for the Patriots in place of David Andrews, who was put on injured reserve Saturday.
Thuney said after the game he hadn’t played center since the 2016 preseason, but quarterback Cam Newton didn’t have any issues with the exchanges.
“It was great,” Newton said. “Smokin’ Joe is a person who is very reliable on this offensive line. The moment wasn’t too big for him to step right in to fill the shoes of Dirty Dave. So I was just excited that, to have anybody be replacing somebody, you’ll want that transaction to be what it was.”
League investigating Raiders
The Raiders are being investigated by the NFL for allowing unauthorized locker room access, league sources told ESPN.
The alleged violations of COVID-19 protocol occurred after Monday night’s win over the New Orleans Saints. An unauthorized team employee entered the Raiders’ locker room without the credentials to do so, sources told ESPN.
In an attempt to limit exposure to the coronavirus, NFL teams may have no more than 40 employees enter the locker room, and those employees must be limited to coaches, medical staff, equipment staff, the GM, one security personnel and one media relations personnel, plus up to three ownership representatives.
The NFL believes an employee who doesn’t fit into those categories was in the locker room after the game.
The Raiders had no comment Sunday when asked about the investigation.
Gruden and the team were also issued fines for violating safety protocols regulating mask usage by coaches during the game.
According to reports, Gruden has decided to appeal his $100,000 fine.