Derek Carr’s first season with the New Orleans Saints screeched to a temporary halt in Week 3 when Green Bay Packers pass rusher Rashan Gary slammed the veteran quarterback down on a sack. Carr is now dealing with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, leaving his status for Sunday up in the air.
What’s the latest on Carr as he recovers from his shoulder injury, and will he be available for an NFC South tilt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Derek Carr Injury Update
While reports initially indicated Carr could be sidelined for a few games, he must have shown tremendous improvement this week.
Carr will be questionable against the Buccaneers on Sunday, Saints head coach Dennis Allen told reporters today.
Dennis Allen said Derek Carr will be questionable
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 29, 2023
Carr did not participate in the Saints’ practices on Wednesday or Thursday. However, he was practicing on Friday and looked “sharp” while throwing accurate passes with zip, as Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reported.
Allen said the Saints will continue to evaluate Carr after his Friday practice session before determining whether he’ll be ready for Week 4. Thankfully, New Orleans’ medical staff isn’t concerned about Carr re-injuring himself on Sunday — it’s more a question of pain tolerance and functionality.
Jameis Winston will serve as the Saints’ QB1 if Carr sits out. Winston was excellent for the New Orleans Saints in 2021, tossing 14 touchdowns against three interceptions while ranking eighth in EPA per dropback before going down with a torn ACL in Week 7.
Last season, Winston started three games for New Orleans before back fractures forced him out of the lineup. He was replaced by Andy Dalton upon his return.
Carr signed a four-year, $150 million contract with the Saints this offseason after being released by the Las Vegas Raiders. With an average annual value of $37.5 million, Carr is the NFL’s 14th-highest-paid quarterback.
Fantasy Fallout From Carr’s Injury
Fantasy managers — and NFL fans alike — had been excited for a Winston revenge game up against the Buccaneers, but there’s now a possibility that Carr will return in time for this contest.
Whether it’s Winston or Carr, both are merely streaming options heading into Week 4. With so many other mobile options at the QB position to choose from in fantasy football, Carr and Winston are both in the QB15-18 range of rankings going into Week 4.
As for the pass catchers in New Orleans, there’s not a dramatic shift or change from one QB to the other. Rashid Shaheed may have had slightly more appeal with Winston, given his propensity to air the ball out deep downfield, but he would still be a dart-throw flex play at best.
Otherwise, it’s fairly status quo for these Saints WRs. Chris Olave is a locked-in starter, Michael Thomas is a fine WR3 for your lineup, and Shaheed is a boom-or-bust Flex option.
— PFN Fantasy Director Kyle Yates