Saints’ Derek Carr on injury — If I’m out there, then ‘I’m good’

Katherine TerrellESPN Staff WriterSep 27, 2023, 06:39 PM ET5 Minute Read

Derek Carr leaves game in 3rd quarter after sack

Derek Carr gets sacked and heads to the locker room in the third quarter with an apparent injury.

METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr said he’s taking things “day-by-day” as he recovers from a right shoulder injury that could potentially cause him to miss time.

Carr has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but did not practice Wednesday with an AC joint sprain. Jameis Winston took the snaps in his place while Carr watched.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be out there with my guys, and if I can play, I’ll play,” Carr said Wednesday. “If I physically just can’t play, then I can’t play. But if I’m out there, that means there’s no fear of reinjury, there’s no fear of … being able to help the football team. I’m doing everything I can to be out there but never hurt the team at the same time.”

Saints coach Dennis Allen said Monday that Carr will be evaluated throughout the week before the team makes a decision and stood by that stance Wednesday.

“He’s feeling better today,” Allen said. “We’ll evaluate him to see where he’s at tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be able to get him back out there. … I’m not ruling anything out.”

He added: “That’s not the situation that anybody wants to be in … without your starting quarterback. It complicates things a little bit and yet we feel confident about Jameis being able to go in there and help lead us to victory. If he’s called upon to do so, we’ll go out and play well.”

Carr said he would still feel confident in his ability to play Sunday even if he didn’t throw all week, but he won’t play if he doesn’t think it’ll benefit the team.

“I’m not saying that I don’t need practice, and everybody needs practice reps, but sometimes situations are different, right? And especially during the season, you want as many reps as you can get,” Carr said. “There’s still stuff I’m doing with the trainers and there’s still stuff I’m doing to … see where we’re at.

“But, if I didn’t throw a ball all week — who knows if that’s going to be the case — but if it is, then I’d still feel confident on Sunday. … I’ll never put the team in a bad place with the roster spot. If I’m out there, that means I feel confident that I’m good. I’m solid, that means I’m ready to play and I can help us win.”

Carr said whether or not he plays will be a joint decision between him and the coaches based on how he functions.

“It’s a little bit of both,” he said. “You’ve got to take into account what you see, and they have to take into account what I’m able to do with their eyes, you know? If it was just up to me, I’d just be like, ‘Yeah, I’m playing. I’m going out today.’ They’d probably have other words than that. So, you’ve got to work together. DA and I talked and we’re on the same page. … This is about winning and this is about the team. But if I feel like I can help us win and I’m confident landing on it and all that kind of stuff, then I’ll be out there.”

Carr said he initially feared the worst after taking a sack in the third quarter of the Saints’ 18-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He laid on the turf before heading to the medical tent with athletic trainers, then went to a hospital to get evaluated and receive X-rays.

“For me, that’s a big deal,” Carr said. “That means obviously something’s not right. … There are certain things you could do to still be out there, but at that moment I couldn’t even pick up my arm to throw a football. It was tough in that moment. So, you fear. Obviously, you’re human. You fear everything. But I just trust God, that I’m going to be all right, whether it was bad or good news. I knew I was going to be OK regardless.”

Carr has missed only two regular-season games in his NFL career due to injury. He broke his fibula at the end of the 2016 season and missed one game during the 2017 season with a transverse process fracture in his back.

“I’ve taken a lot of pride in not missing football games no matter what,” Carr said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, but at the same time, looking ahead, how long the season is and all that, you have to be smart. That’s what DA and I talked about. … I’m preparing to get ready. I’m preparing to get ready to play, just like Jameis is, just like Taysom [Hill]. We’re all preparing to get ready to do whatever our role is and hopefully it works out to where I can play. But for me, we’ll just keep it up in the air for now.”


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