ALAMEDA, Calif. — When the Oakland Raiders took the field for the start of their first full-team practice since the NFL draft, there was one notable spectator.
Quarterback Derek Carr spent much of Tuesday’s organized team activity on the sideline running plays in his mind instead of on the field as he deals with an undisclosed injury.
Coach Jack Del Rio says it is his policy not to discuss injuries in the off-season and he would only say that Carr is one of a handful of players who could not take part in the practice.
"We don’t get into who has what and why and different timetables," Del Rio said. "I don’t get into that stuff this time of year. We’re not going to sit here and play that game."
Carr did take the field last month for a voluntary minicamp and has been with the team for the entire off-season program learning the new offence under co-ordinator Bill Musgrave.
He did not get the chance to practice with the team’s top draft pick, receiver Amari Cooper, for the first time. But Del Rio did not seem concerned.
"Time missed in May is better than time missed in September, for sure," he said. "In fact, you’re often capable of taking whatever time is necessary just to make sure you put things behind you. A little more cautious this time of year."
Del Rio also did not seem concerned that practice time missed at this time of year would slow Carr’s development or knowledge of the new up-tempo offence.
"We’re just plodding ahead installing and working and doing what we can with the guys that are available," Del Rio said. "The guys that aren’t, are working their best mentally through the process and taking all the mental reps they can."
Carr started all 16 games in his rookie season and is being counted on to solidify the revolving door at quarterback that has plagued Oakland for the past decade.
Carr was the 18th quarterback to start for Oakland since the beginning of 2003, but became the first to go all 16 games since Rich Gannon did it in 2002 — when the Raiders made the Super Bowl.
Carr had good and bad moments during a three-win season for Oakland. He became the seventh rookie quarterback to throw for at least 3,000 yards and 20 touchdown passes in a season and looked comfortable in the pocket.
He also struggled at times against the blitz and was unable to get the ball downfield consistently, in part because of the lack of a game-breaking receiver.
His 5.46 yards per attempt were the lowest in the NFL and the second-worst mark ever posted by a Raiders quarterback, ahead of only JaMarcus Russell’s 5.23 yards per attempt in 2009.