Raiders QB Derek Carr suffered a back injury late in the third quarter Sunday vs. the Broncos and was escorted by trainers to the locker room for further evaluation.
EJ Manuel, signed in the offseason to back up Carr and reunite with former Bills QBs coach-turned-Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing, replaced the starter with Oakland trailing the Broncos, 16-7.
Carr was 10-of-18 for 143 yards and a touchdown (100.0 rating) at the time of his injury. The offense had been bogged down by Denver since a 99-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, tallying just one total yard on the subsequent three drives.
That Carr suffered his injury hours after Marcus Mariota injured his hamstring and sat out the second half of the Titans' noncompetitive road loss in Houston is eerie. Both Carr and Mariota sustained broken legs in Week 15 last season, which, for all intents and purproses, abruptly ended their respective club's grand postseason ambitions.
Tennessee missed the playoffs with Matt Cassel at the helm, and Cassel was again abysmal as a pinch hitter on Sunday.
The Raiders sought an upgrade in Manuel over Connor Cook, who was completely overmatched in a wild-card round defeat vs. Houston, which was his first career start. Whether Manuel gives the Raiders a better chance, and how long Oakland may be without Carr, who signed a record contract extension this offseason, remains to be seen.