Derek Carr was in no mood to offer the Buffalo Bills any competitive advantages when asked about the status of doubly dislocated right pinky on Wednesday afternoon.
“No limitations. It’s doing great. Thank you,” Carr said with a smile during his weekly press conference at the Oakland Raiders’ Alameda headquarters.
The quarterback repeated the same line when asked if the injury had required him to take any painkillers.
“It’s doing great,” Carr said. “Thank you very much.”
During the team’s practice, Carr donned the same black glove that he sported during Oakland’s 35-32 comeback win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Carr wouldn’t say if he’d wear the famous glove for the team’s Week 13 matchup with the Bills.
“We’ll see,” Carr said. “My hand’s doing great. Thank you for asking.”
Unsurprisingly, head coach Jack Del Rio also declined to divulge any specifics.
“It looked pretty good,” Del Rio said. “That’s it.”
Oakland native and ex-Raider enjoying career year with Bills
When the Raiders let journeyman Lorenzo Alexander depart as a free agent at the end of last season, Del Rio knew he was losing a solid veteran leader.
What the head coach didn’t realize was that he was also losing a guy who was about to record 10 sacks in the first 11 games of the 2016 season.
“We did not see that in him or we wouldn’t have let [Bill head coach] Rex [Ryan] get him,” Del Rio said of the 33-year-old linebacker, who is tied for second in the NFL in sacks.
Alexander, who was born in Oakland and played at Cal, was a special teams ace during his time with the Raiders — not a quarterback hunter. In his first nine season in the NFL, Alexander totaled nine sacks.
“Honestly, we missed on this part where he’s getting 10 sacks,” Del Rio said. “Hats off to him. Congratulations to him. The guys that are here that know him are really happy for him.”
Carr, who’s well-known for his habit of lavishing praise on his opponents in the lead-up to games, insisted that Alexander’s breakthrough is hardly a shock.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Carr said. “I’ve kept up with Lorenzo. We talk, I feel like every week. It’s been every week that we still talk because he’s such a great guy.”
“He’s a professional. He’s a great person off the field,” Carr added. “Obviously, I wish him the best besides this week. I’m not surprised because I know how hard he plays.”
‘Hall of Fame’ praise
Alexander paid a major compliment to Khalil Mack — the Raiders sack leader and the new AFC Defensive player of the Week.
“Obviously, if he continues to maintain his health he’s going to be a Hall of Famer,” Alexander told reporters.
With that comment, Alexander becomes the second veteran linebacker to make that claim since Sunday. The first was Raiders teammate Bruce Irvin.
“I’m just blessed to be in a great situation and to play alongside a future Hall of Famer,” Irvin said.
The Mexico City-Vegas connection
During the Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN Deportes, John Sutcliffe mentioned that the Raiders could host the New England Patriots in Mexico City next year.
Speaking on 95.7 The Game, Raiders broadcaster Greg Papa floated as theory as to why owner Mark Davis would be open to sacrificing a home game for a second consecutive season.
“I think it’s a little bit of a bargaining ploy,” Papa said. “Mark needs 24 votes to get to [Las] Vegas.”
Papa speculated that in exchange for giving the Patriots the chance to expand their brand into Mexico, New England owner Robert Kraft — one of the league’s most influential power brokers — would help Davis line up enough votes to push through his proposed move to Southern Nevada.