NFL notebook: Raiders bench Carr, name Stidham starter
HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has missed just three games in nine years, all due to injury.
Now, for the first time, he won’t play because of what coach Josh McDaniels said Wednesday were offensive performance reasons.
Not only will McDaniels start Jarrett Stidham the last two weeks, including Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers, but Carr will be inactive. Practice squad quarterback Chase Garbers will be the backup.
The Raiders (6-9) have lost two of their last three games against everyone but are out of the playoff race just a year after making the postseason. Carr has not completed more than 55 percent of his passes over the past four games, and has thrown seven interceptions and six touchdown passes.
“I don’t think anybody feels like we’ve done enough offensively in some of these games,” McDaniels said. “We couldn’t put enough points on the board, so I don’t think anyone is really happy with what we did.”
By not playing Carr, the Raiders eliminate the possibility of a serious injury affecting his contract status. The club has until Feb. 15 to decide whether to release or trade Carr — who has a no-trade clause but can waive it — or take his $33 million hit in 2023. An injury to heavily would guarantee that money plus another $7.5 million for 2024.
Even before Wednesday’s announcement, there were serious questions about whether the Raiders wanted to continue investing in a quarterback who has led the team to just two playoff appearances.
“We’re all responsible for where we are, and I think this (decision) is more about an opportunity to see a guy we haven’t seen play in a situation like this against some good, very good teams. . teams,” McDaniels said.
TITANS: Tennessee quarterback Derrick Henry has been listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and is not expected to play Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Henry was listed as a “did not practice” on Monday and was limited on Tuesday and Wednesday.
This game does not affect the Titans’ playoff hopes, which will be decided by the result of the Week 18 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Commanders: Looking to revitalize their offense that has become stagnant, the Washington Commanders are turning to Carson Wentz at quarterback for a crucial late-season game with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance.
Coach Ron Rivera decided to go with Wentz over Taylor Heinicke for his team’s next game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, citing the veteran QB’s play in San Francisco and a better command of the offense than earlier this season.
“Where we’re at right now, I’m looking for a spark, a little something different,” Rivera said after practice Wednesday. “And I think now is a good opportunity for him.”
Wentz replaced Heinicke during the fourth quarter of Washington’s loss at San Francisco and went 12 of 16 for 123 yards and a touchdown. The 29-year-old strong-armer gives the Chiefs a higher ceiling than Heinicke, whose success leading the offense fizzled after winning five of his first six starts.
COFFEE: Cleveland defensive end Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice Wednesday after missing a game with a concussion, while starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. sat down with a back problem.
Clowney did not play in last week’s 17-10 loss to New Orleans after suffering a head injury on Dec. 17 against Baltimore.
DELAYED SUSPENSIONS: Denver linebacker Randy Gregory and Rams offensive lineman Oday Aboushi will not serve a one-game suspension for fighting in Sunday’s game.
Both players appealed their suspensions and will instead pay a fine. NFL hearing officer Derrick Brooks overturned Gregory’s conviction on Tuesday and fined him $50,000. Hearing Officer James Thrash overturned Abush’s suspension and fined him $12,000. Gregory and Aboushi traded punches after the Rams beat the Broncos 51-14 on Christmas Day.
GIANTS: The New York Giants signed veteran linebacker Jarrad Davis off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad and placed guard Shane Lemieux on injured reserve on Wednesday.
BOSSES: Kansas City expects to have wide receiver Mecole Hardman on the field for the first time in nearly two months Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Hardman has been out since Nov. 6 with an abdominal injury that put him on injured reserve.
MLB Notebook: Braves sign rookie catcher Sean Murphy to $73 million, 6-year deal
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