OAKLAND — The small silver golf cart — carrying Derek Carr, who suffered a broken fibula — rolled past the back of the end zone before disappearing behind the bleachers.
Less than 10 minutes earlier, Indianapolis Colts’ outside linebacker Trent Cole had sacked Carr at the Oakland Raiders’ 40-yard line, twisting the quarterback to the ground. As Carr sat on the turf, clutching his right leg, he immediately signaled for the team’s trainers.
“As soon as I got out there, he said, ‘I think it’s broke’” head coach Jack Del Rio said after the 33-25 win.
MVP chants briefly echoed through the Coliseum, but the raucous crowd quickly quieted down as trainers and Del Rio continued to hover around the quarterback.
With the help of a couple of staff members, Carr eventually made it to the sideline, without putting any weight on his right leg.
Trainers worked on Carr as he sat on a table behind the Raiders’ bench until the silver cart arrived to ferry him away.
On a single play, what looked like it would be a Christmas-Eve beating suddenly turned into a worse-case scenario for the AFC West leaders.
“It went from really really good to kind of a got the wind knocked out of you feeling,” Del Rio said, explaining that Carr will likely have surgery on Christmas day and will be out of the lineup indefinitely.
Del Rio declined to answer when asked if he thought there was a chance that Carr, who was replaced by Matt McGloin, could return for a postseason push.
“I don’t know right now,” Del Rio said. “Everybody heals differently. We’ll see exactly what needs to be done when they get in there and do it. But that’s really all I have to give now is that.”
Cole’s sack was the only one the Raiders’ offensive line would allow all day and the first that Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn has surrendered all season.
“It’s sad. It’s very sad,” Penn said. “I’m very disappointed in myself because it was my guy that got him. I’ve been great all year. I don’t know how — I was engaged with my guy, took another step and my foot just slipped from up under me.
“I wish I could have that fucking play [back] — I’m sorry,” Penn said. “I’m mad. I wish I could have that play back because I’ve been blocking great all year. I slip on one play all year. I’m just trying not to — I’m mad at myself. I’ll be good tomorrow but I’m just mad at myself because I wish there was something else I could do. I ain’t never got a quarterback hurt in my whole career. I’m just upset right now, so I don’t know.”
After holding off the Colts, the Raiders can now clinch the AFC West title with a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs in their Sunday matchup with the Denver Broncos.
Beginning with a five-yard touchdown strike from Carr to Clive Walford at the 5:50 mark in the second quarter, the Raiders dropped 28 unanswered points on the visitors in a 12-minute span. The run included a pair of 22-yard rushing touchdowns for running back DeAndre Washington, who went for 99 yards on 12 carries.
“To be able to [get] in there twice after not being able to get in there all season is probably the best Christmas gift I got in a while,” Washington said.”
The Raiders also pushed their NFL best turnover differential to +18 thanks to interceptions by Nate Allen and Reggie Nelson in the first half and a third-quarter forced fumble by Malcolm Smith.