Despite a scorching hot start to the season that saw them positioned atop the AFC West at one point, Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders have stumbled to a 6-6 record after 12 games. The momentum they gained at the start of the year is failing them, and they’re quickly losing crucial ground in the AFC Wild Card picture.
The Washington Football Team beat the Raiders in Week 13, casting further doubt on their ability to sneak into the postseason this winter. Washington is the type of team the Raiders need to be beating at this point on the season.
To make matters even worse for Carr and the Raiders, they lost an essential piece of their offense to a season-ending injury against Washington as well.
Raiders RB Kenyan Drake is done for the year
According to several NFL sources, Raiders running back Kenyan Drake broke his ankle during the Week 13 matchup. The injury requires surgery and will knock him out for the remainder of the 2021 season.
Raiders running back Kenyan Drake was carted off the field in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to Washington and was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Now Drake is apparently done for the rest of the year.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Drake suffered a broken ankle on the play and will miss the remainder of the 2021 season.Myles Simmons, Pro Football Talk
Drake isn’t the Raiders’ starting running back. However, he’s evolved into an important second option since joining Las Vegas in 2020. He’s filled in as the starter on more than one occasion due to Josh Jacobs — the No. 1 back — dealing with his own injury issues over the years.
Losing an RB2 isn’t enough to completely shut down the Raiders’ chances of making the postseason. However, it’s another loss Derek Carr and the offense could not afford. They’ve already suffered too many subtractions to their offense as is.
The Raiders can’t keep Derek Carr’s weapons on the field
The Raiders have dealt with critical injuries and absences to their offense all season long. The before-mentioned Josh Jacobs has been in and out of the lineup. Starting offensive guard Richie Incognito has been on injured reserve with a calf injury for several weeks. Former starting WR Henry Ruggs III was released due to criminal charges being pressed. Starting tight end Darren Waller is currently out with a knee injury.
Now, you can add Drake to that very long list of missing starters on the Raiders’ offense.
Ultimately speaking, the Raiders being bit by the injury bug is no one’s fault. It’s just part of life in the NFL. However, that doesn’t mean Carr will sit around forever, wasting the prime years of his passing ability.
Derek Carr should explore a change of scenery in the offseason
With Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson all likely to be moved this offseason, a quarterback frenzy will be in full swing around the NFL.
Why shouldn’t Derek Carr throw his name into the mix?
Carr isn’t nearly as talented as the three names mentioned above. However, he’s still an above-average starter who could lead a ready-to-win team on a deep playoff run. People forget Carr passed for 27 touchdowns and 4,000-plus yards last season — several teams would kill for that type of production under center.
There’s still time for the Raiders to flip the script on their squandering season. However, if Carr is serious about winning at this point in his NFL career, he needs to come to terms with it potentially being elsewhere.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.