NAPA, Calif. — How much, if at all, will quarterback Derek Carr play in the Oakland Raiders‘ preseason opener at the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night, given that he suffered a broken right fibula the last time he was on a field in a game situation?
“We haven’t really settled on what we’re going to do with reps across the way,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said following practice on Thursday, the team’s final open-to-the-media session before it travels to Arizona.
“We don’t typically play the front line a great deal in the first game. We’ll see when we get there.”
What about first-year Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who missed last season as he sat out on a one-year retirement?
“I know he’s a high-profile guy that people have questions about,” Del Rio said. “I’ll try to do the best I can. We like the way he’s working. I’m not that concerned about seeing a lot of Marshawn in Week 1 of the preseason. I’ll just be honest with you on that.”
The Raiders are in an enviable situation in that they are coming off a 12-win season, their first winning year since 2002. So yeah, they are considered a good team, a proven team.
So why expose their better players to potential injury in a meaningless exhibition?
“I don’t know that the win total has a whole lot to do with anything,” Del Rio said. “I think having an understanding of your guys and what you know they’re about, where they are with conditioning levels, where they are with any injuries they may be battling, what your depth is, what battles you need to see, what competitions you need to clean up, I think that’s all part of it.
“Honestly, we don’t sit there and say, ‘We won enough games, we can just not rep our guys this year.’ That’s really not part of the thinking at all.”