It was a disastrous week for the Bay Area’s NFL quarterbacks.
Derek Carr was forced out of the Oakland Raiders’ loss to the Broncos and was later diagnosed with a transverse process fracture. He’s expected to miss some time.
Meanwhile, Brian Hoyer is out of excuses. The veteran quarterback failed to lead the 49ers into the end zone for the third time in four tries on Sunday, leading to questions about whether it’s time for a change.
Here’s how both teams will handle their under-center issues going forward:
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Carr was knocked out of the game in the third quarter after being sacked. He walked off the field in visible pain.
On Monday, head coach Jack Del Rio announced his quarterback suffered an injury that typically forces players to miss two-to-six weeks.
“He said he’s sorry. Great kid,” Del Rio said of his phone call with Carr. “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.”
The transverse process fracture led to back spasms. It also forced backup EJ Manuel into action.
Manuel struggled against a tough Denver Broncos defense. He finished 11-for-17 for 106 yards and an interception. Despite that, Del Rio wasn’t concerned with what he saw, saying he saw things the team can “build on.”
“I thought he was very poised throughout the time that he played,” Del Rio said. “He handled his business. He went through the reads.”
Last season, the Raiders went 0-2 when Carr was forced to miss starts due to a broken leg. They were collectively outscored 51-20 by the Broncos and Houston Texans — the latter defeat coming in the playoffs.
Oakland has a pair of home games next, against the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers.
Both of those teams have struggled through the first quarter of the season. If Carr misses the full range of time: He’ll miss Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum, as well as road games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. In which case, he’ll be back in Week 11 against the New England Patriots after the Raiders’ bye week.
Shanahan sticking with Hoyer
No one expected Hoyer to be in the MVP race this season. But he also wasn’t expected to have the third-worst passer rating in the NFL through four weeks of the season.
Despite that — and the 49ers’ 0-4 record — first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday he isn’t planning any changes under center.
”He needs to play better, and I think we need to play better around him,” Shanahan said, doubling down on his statements that the passing game’s failure isn’t all on Hoyer.
The lack of offensive production begs the question of where the competition is between Hoyer and backup CJ Beathard.
Shanahan doesn’t see it that way, though.
“I don’t look at it just as it’s Brian versus CJ right now. I look at it as what’s the best for our team right now,” he said. “And if I did feel that was the best thing for our team at this time, I wouldn’t hesitate at all. That would be an easy decision for me if I thought it was the best thing for our team right now.”
Shanahan said that Beathard has been progressing but he needs more reps in practice.