Derek Carr was slammed to the ground at the 10:51 mark in the third quarter of Sunday's New Orleans Saints-Green Bay Packers game. Carr stayed on the ground for an extended period of time before leaving the field under his own power.
The Saints swiftly ruled Carr out and sent him to a local hospital for X-rays, where it became apparent that Carr had suffered a sprained AC joint. New Orleans was up 17-0 when Carr left the game. The final score was 18-17, Green Bay.
While Carr avoided a more serious outcome, there's still a chance he misses time with the AC sprain. The Saints are officially listing him as week-to-week, per head coach Dennis Allen. The good news? Carr is not ruled out for the Saints' Sunday showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 1.
New Orleans Saints' Derek Carr may not miss any games
With how bad the injury looked in real-time, it's a relief to get such a positive influx of news surrounding Carr's status. His immediate status for next Sunday is murky at best, but the Saints appear to be staring down the barrel of a 1-2 week absence, not a season-long malady.
Carr was brought to New Orleans on a four-year, $150 million contract over the summer. The 32-year-old gunslinger is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl appearance. The obvious top QB in a weak and winnable NFC South, Carr's arrival was heralded by many as the Saints staking their dominion over the division.
The broader picture has been a little more complicated in the early going. The Saints dropped to 2-1 with Sunday's collapse, now tied with the Atlanta Falcons at 2-1. The Bucs are 2-0 entering their Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, with a chance to claim sole rights to first place.
Is the NFC South good or is the competition bad? The latter, most likely, but the Saints might not have the first-place cakewalk everyone expected. That becomes especially true if Carr is forced to miss any significant time. Jameis Winston is one of the better backups in the NFL, but Carr's arm is an essential part of the offensive equation for Pete Carmichael and the Saints' offense.
New Orleans fans will celebrate the good news but expect that celebration to quickly turn to anxiety as Carr's Week 4 status hangs in the balance. We can expect more concrete updates later in the week.