You knew from the way that Derek Carr reacted to being sacked in the third quarter against Denver that it wasn’t good. And the team made it official yesterday, it wasn’t good. Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back.

And you know as soon as that was announced, that Raider fans were racing to webmd and every other medical site to figure out what a transverse process fracture is. So what is it? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s a fracture of the small projections on the vertebrae. They’re not entirely uncommon. This is the same injury that Tony Romo suffered back in 2014 and he came back after one game. Mike Conley of the Grizzlies had it as well and he was back on the court in less than three weeks.

Jack Del Rio said that the Carr’s time out “could be as short as two weeks — it could be longer.” And longer could be six weeks. That is a brutal blow for the Raiders, on the field and in the locker room.

Just ask Khalil Mack: “It’s a big hit. Franchise quarterback. My homeboy. My brother, you know what I’m saying? I know he’s going to be all right but at the same time, it’s about the team and the next guy’s got to be ready. And EJ came in and he did some good things. But unfortunately, it couldn’t put us over the hump.”

EJ Manuel looked decent when he came in after Carr went out. He went 11 for 17 for 106 yards and nearly got them a win, but EJ Manuel is EJ Manuel. He’s not Derek Carr and you can’t convince yourself that he is. Carr does so much, not just for the offense, but for the whole thing, and now he’s out.

This is a team that came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations, they got off to a good start with wins over the Titans and Jets, but then the offense didn’t look good against Washington and Carr gets injured against Denver.

And now they’re in a tough spot. They have a team that can contend for a Super Bowl, but this is your young, franchise quarterback. A guy who takes such responsibility and care for the team that he was apologizing to Del Rio for getting injured. “He said he’s sorry. Great kid. He’ll bounce back. I told him that the team will take care of business while he’s healing and just get healed up and when he can come back, he’ll come back.”

Think about that. He gets his back busted on a sack and he’s apologizing. You know he’s going to bust it to be back as quickly as possible, but you don’t want to rush him back. Especially with an injured back. This isn’t a fractured bone in a foot or wrist. It’s his back. Everyone has a high threshold for someone else’s pain, but when it comes to a broken back, I’m taking my time. I know Carr won’t. He knows what he means to that team and how much they count on him. He wants to win worse than anyone, and he knows that they’re already two games behind KC and one behind Denver in the AFC West. I’m not saying the season is already over. It’s not. And maybe the Raiders win the next two games and then Carr is back against the Chiefs in just over two weeks on Thursday night and maybe they’re right back in this. Maybe.

But you don’t want to get him back too early and cause another problem. The autumn wind is a pirate, you don’t want the autumn wind to be a surgeon.

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