The Oakland Raiders are in about as good of shape as any team in the NFL. They’ve locked up a playoff berth for the first time since 2002, have one of the top offenses in football and have a legitimate MVP candidate playing quarterback.
That same quarterback does have a pinkie issue, though – and Jack Del Rio isn’t afraid to admit it.
Derek Carr dislocated his finger a few weeks ago, but he’s played through it and continued to chug along. It’s hindered his throwing ability a bit, as was evident against the Chiefs in Week 14, and it’s also impacted the Raiders’ play calling. That’s because Carr still can’t take snaps under center.
“Yes, it is somewhat of an issue,” Del Rio said, via ESPN. “It is not ideal. Being completely honest about it, it is an issue that we are working through, but it is the way we’re choosing to work through it right now.”
Where his inability to go under center impacts the Raiders most is in the red zone. Running the ball out of the shotgun is more difficult, especially for a downhill runner like Latavius Murray. He doesn’t have the speed to bounce it outside like, say, Le’Veon Bell can, which isn’t a good thing.
Del Rio acknowledges that Carr will get back under center at some point, he’s just not sure when that’ll happen.
“At some point, we will feel better about going under center, we will; but until then we’ll execute the best we can out of the formations we feel most comfortable with,” he said.
Hopefully Carr will be able to move out of the shotgun by the time the playoffs start. If not, the Raiders might run into some issues in the red zone, which won’t help their chances for a deep postseason run.