The hits just keep on coming for Derek Carr — and he hasn’t even played a football game in nine days.
Monday, after his club reconvened following its bye week, the Raiders quarterback watched his No. 1 receiver, Amari Cooper, whisked off the practice field after being traded to the Cowboys.
Tuesday, Carr was compelled to defend himself from a report, via The Athletic, alleging the three-time Pro Bowler has a “fractured relationship” with teammates. That assessment stems from unnamed sources contending confidence inside Raiders HQ is waning in Carr, apparently exacerbated by perceptions he was crying on the field in Oakland’s Week 6 loss to Seattle after his non-throwing arm was damaged.
Carr isn’t having it.
He sent a tweet in response to older brother Darren, who listed out the various injuries Carr has dealt with, and ProFootballTalk on Tuesday morning, saying: “Don’t even waste your time with this big bro. On the ground I yelled get me up get me. Then I got to the sideline and yelled again. Not one tear. Not one time. There is the Truth. People will click on it because it sounds crazy. But stop playing with me.”
Carr followed up with another tweet, further clarifying his dedication to Raider Nation and his locker room even as his 1-5 team’s season circles the drain.
“I’m a Raider. It’s not a ‘popular’ thing to be a Raider right now, but I am and I love it,” Carr wrote.
“I love the struggle of trying to fight back for our city when not a lot of people believe in us. People can try all they want to tear us apart, but it’s not happening to the real ones.”
The whole thing seems a little dubious given Carr has historically had the backing from his teammates, especially key leaders … like former Raider Khalil Mack, still a good friend of the quarterback’s. Carr, who has also played hurt on more than one occasion, has struggled (8 INTs, 89.4 passer rating) in Year 1 under Jon Gruden, but he’s part and parcel of a franchise in the midst of a reboot.
And Gruden certainly seems to support him even as trade rumors will inevitably now spring up on the hot take circuit.
“He is the strength of this football team,” Gruden said of his QB last week. “He is on my watch. I said it when I got here, if he doesn’t play well, I’ve failed.”
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