Raiders.com Mailbag: With Donald Penn Out, Who Steps In At Left Tackle?

Sunday was a rough one, no way around it.

However, with two games left on the regular season schedule, the Oakland Raiders still have a chance to finish the season with a .500 record, and build some positive momentum down the stretch.

Next up for the Silver and Black is a Christmas night affair with the Philadelphia Eagles, so before the week of preparation gets underway, you had questions.

Now, we have answers, so here is this week's edition of the Raiders.com Mailbag.

EP: Well, first things first, the Raiders aren't quite eliminated from postseason contention just yet. Do they need a lot of crazy things to happen over the next two weeks to get back to the playoffs? Yes, but until there is a zero percent chance the team will be returning to the postseason tournament, let's not eliminate the Silver and Black just yet. I do know where you're headed with your question though, and when asked something very similar yesterday, Head coach Jack Del Rio said that down the stretch, the goal is to win, and whichever players give the team the best shot at doing just that will play. Now, it wouldn't surprise me to see a few wrinkles here and there over the final two weeks, but I don't think anyone should expect any wholesale personnel changes down the stretch.

EP:A chance? No doubt. Will that actually happen though? Only time will tell. Head Coach Del Rio announced Monday that Donald Penn's season is over, as the veteran left tackle will undergo surgery Wednesday, and now with him out of the mix, the Raiders coaching staff will have to figure out how to protect Carr's blindside the next two weeks. They certainly aren't short on options, but to get back to your original question, Del Rio did say that he wanted to get a look at David Sharpe on the left side. That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to start – the staff will want to see how looks during the week of practice – but I would expect to see the rookie tackle fill some sort of role Monday night in Philadelphia.

EP:Plain and simple, Derek was trying to make a play that would have won the game for the Raiders, and personally, I like that kind of fire, and tenacity from a franchise quarterback. The game is so fast that I really doubt D.C. was going over the countless scenarios in his head of how his run could end up in the split second he decided to tuck the ball and try to find the pylon. Look, Carr thought he had an opening to make a game-winning play, and he took it. I have no problem with that. Big time players get paid to make plays, and that's what No. 4 was trying to do.

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