Derek Carr left Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers with a shoulder injury, and with him went the New Orleans Saints unbeaten season. The Packers and new starting QB Jordan Love came back in the fourth quarter to shock the Saints 18-17. The injury to Carr looked bad, and the Saints’ organization feared the worst.
With an injury like Carr sustained, you fear a broken collarbone or a shoulder tear. The initial reports surfaced regarding his shoulder, and the update should provide us with a timeline for how long the Saint’s signal-caller will be out.
Is Derek Carr Out for the Season?
No, Carr appears to have avoided a season-ending injury. Reportedly, Carr sustained an AC sprain to his shoulder. The shoulder seems to have sustained some swelling, and how the medical staff manages the swelling and returns the shoulder to 100% mobility will be critical in determining how long Carr will miss.
“Derek Carr hurt his shoulder, could miss some time.”
“Patrick Mahomes tweaked his ankle but said he is fine.”
“Zach Wilson didn’t get hurt, he just sucks. But expected to start next week.” pic.twitter.com/7rHoz8vYnE
— 🗣🎙‼️ (@LanceTHESPOKEN) September 25, 2023
The expectation from the Saints’ front office is that he’ll miss time, but we’re talking about weeks, not the season. New Orleans should have their starting QB back on the field in 2023.
Late Monday night in Week 3, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Saints HC Dennis Allen characterized Carr’s sprained AC joint as week to week. He also reported that the team is going to be cautious with their QB and it would be a surprise if Carr played Sunday of Week 4 against the Buccaneers.
While Saints’ HC Dennis Allen characterized Derek Carr and his sprained AC joint as week to week, the team is going to be cautious with its QB and it would be a surprise if Carr played Sunday vs the Bucs.
So it’s setting up as Saints’ QB Jameis Winston vs. his former team.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2023
Who Will Start While Carr Is Out?
Luckily for New Orleans, they have a reliable veteran QB option waiting in the wings.
Jameis Winston is the Saints’ backup QB, and he has plenty of starting experience in the NFL. The Saints’ season is not lost, and Winston can perform at a high level and keep it afloat until Carr returns.
Derek Carr: *leaves game injured*
Jameis Winston: pic.twitter.com/kEfttJcFv4
— NFL Memes (@nflmemezz) September 24, 2023
Winston will change the Saints’ offense. In fact, the entire offense will be in a state of transition as they get multi-dimensional back Alvin Kamara back from suspension. Expect New Orleans to lean on their ground game and top-notch defense during Carr’s absence.
Earlier in his career, Winston was known for playing the game like a maverick, making ill-advised throws, and turning the ball over at a high rate. Winston will still make a boneheaded play occasionally, but he’s evolved as a player since arriving in New Orleans.
MORE: NFL Standings
The time Winston spent learning from future Hall of Famer Drew Brees, under the tutelage of former Saints’ head coach Sean Payton, altered the course of his career.
Had Winston continued to turn the ball over at a high rate, he may not be in the NFL any longer. Instead, Winston changed his approach, made smarter decisions, and became more of a game manager.
Are the Saints Still the Favorites in the NFC South?
Raiders going from Derek Carr to Jimmy G. pic.twitter.com/RWhpy9EBmx
— AG (@Andyistoofunny) September 25, 2023
Despite the Buccaneers’ rapid 2-0 start, does anyone take them seriously?
Perhaps we should, but in any case, no one is running away with this division. As long as Winston can take care of the football, the Saints are good enough to win behind a running game, strong defense, and timely passing game.