It was the question everyone wanted an answer to, so understandably it was the first question Derek Carr was asked as he sat down for his first press conference of 2017.
How’s the rehab from the broken fibula going?
“I feel great,” said Carr following the first day of the Oakland Raiders Offseason Workout Program. “I’ve been running, jumping, throwing, cutting, everything. I’m ready to rock. I’m ready to do absolutely everything. I did everything my teammates did today. I’ll do everything my teammates do again tomorrow, so hopefully that just gives an idea.”
The Raiders starting quarterback was approaching the final chapter of an MVP-type season when a fourth quarter injury in the team’s Week 16 win over the Indianapolis Colts forced him to not only miss the regular season finale, but the team’s Wild Card Matchup against the Houston Texans as well.
And while Carr’s injury was certainly more significant than a sprained ankle or a jammed finger, No. 4 believes that the timing of last year’s particular injury may have caused the fervor around it to be exasperated a tad.
“I’ve broken a lot of things, I’ve torn a lot of muscles, I’ve torn a lot of ligaments; because this one happened at such a dramatic time, because it happened to where I couldn’t play the next couple of games, it’s kind of bigger than it was,” Carr explained. “It wasn’t hard for me to take that boot off, and take my first step, if that helps. For me, the mental side is easy to defeat, because it’s me versus me, and that’s going to be a win every time.”
The Silver and Black were not the only team bitten by the injury bug on Christmas Eve, as ironically enough, two other players around the league – Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett – both went down with injuries similar to Carr’s on the very same day. While Carr said he shared texts with Lockett in the early stages of their rehab, he hasn’t yet spoken with Mariota, but made sure to send out his well wishes to the pair as they attack their respective recoveries.
“I feel great, truly blessed that it wasn’t worse,” Carr said. “It could have been a lot worse, and it wasn’t, very thankful for that, and I just keep praying for the guys on that day that had the same kind of injury that are still going through it.”
Just a day into Phase I of the Offseason Workout Program, “DC “and the rest of his teammates aren’t hitting the field just yet, but field work or no field work, the Raiders starting quarterback is happy that his days rehabbing are now in the rearview mirror.
“It felt like a long process, but it flew by,” Carr said. “Each day felt like a long day, but we had fun doing it. We had great trainers and doctors here, my surgeon, my own [doctor] that I have that flies out to help work on me and things like that. I did absolutely everything I could to make sure I come back better, like Kobe [Bryant] said, ‘come back better than ever.’ I wanted to make sure that thing was going to be a non-factor when I started doing things again.”