Coming off their fifth straight victory and heading into Week 13, the Oakland Raiders (9-2) have a high number of injuries up and down their defense and limited many players in Wednesday’s first practice of the week. However, star quarterback Derek Carr seems undeterred by the grisly finger dislocation he suffered in Sunday’s 35-32 comeback win over Carolina as he was a full participant.
Twelve players, including Carr, made Week 13’s first injury report before Sunday’s clash with the hard-charging Buffalo Bills at Oakland Coliseum. Prior to Week 12, nine Raiders made the injury report.
Carr, along with defensive tackle Darius Latham (ankle), cornerback DJ Hayden (hamstring), and linebackers Perry Riley and Malcolm Smith (hamstrings) were the latest additions to the injury report. Latham and Hayden sat out all of Wednesday’s session, while Riley and Smith were limited.
Otherwise, cornerback David Amerson (knee), linebacker Shilique Calhoun (knee), receiver Michael Crabtree (ankle), center Rodney Hudson (knee), defensive tackle Stacy McGee (ankle), guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele (knee), and running back Latavius Murray (ankle), are all holdovers from Week 12’s report.
Carr, who dislocated his right pinky finger on his throwing hand in two places while taking a snap against Carolina, repeatedly told reporters Wednesday the injury is “doing great,” and alluded questions about whether his grip of the ball has been affected or if he’s taking any painkillers, according to The Mercury News.
“It’s doing great. Thank you very much,” he said.
Carr was the only player listed on the injury report to fully participate in practice Wednesday, and his play didn’t dip against Carolina. He fired off 315 yards and two touchdown passes while going 26-for-38 and led another fourth-quarter comeback to keep Oakland in the running for one of the AFC’s top two playoff berths.
Though linebacker and pass rusher Khalil Mack has been in top form, the injuries to the defensive line could prove problematic against Buffalo’s first ranked rushing attack. The Bills average 157.4 rushing yards per game, gaining just one more yard total compared to No. 2 ranked Dallas but nearly 16 yards more on average than No. 3 Tennessee, and just lit up Jacksonville for 153 yards and three rushing touchdowns for a 28-21 victory on Sunday.
Running back LeSean McCoy, who’s eighth in the NFL with 819 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, leads Buffalo’s rushing offense but quarterback Tyrod Taylor is just as dangerous. Taylor leads all NFL quarterbacks with 439 yards and his tied for a league-best five rushing scores.
The Raiders, having just surrendered 129 rushing yards to Carolina, have struggled against the run for most of the season. Oakland’s No. 26 in the league with 116.9 rushing yards allow per contest.
Still, Buffalo has even more injury concerns than Oakland. Taylor (groin) was a full participant on Wednesday while 15 other Bills, including guards Richie Incognito (neck) and John Miller (shoulder), made the injury report.