On the day two of his teammates were put on the COVID injury list, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said on Wednesday that it’s not his business to tell his fellow teammates that they should be vaccinated for the COVID-19.
This was on the same day running backs Jalen Richard and Theo Riddick were put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
A third back, Kenyan Drake, was placed on the non-football injury list.
“It’s so hard, you know,” Carr said. “Everything, no matter what I say, someone on one side will be mad and someone on the other, you know?”
The Raiders quarterback didn’t confirm that he has been vaccinated but Carr said he’s been getting shots beginning as a child. He remembered his mother taking him out of school early to get vaccinated.
“This one is a little bit different because it’s new, right?” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “The other ones were measles, mumps, hepatitis B, all that kind of stuff. This one is new, so people and families have certain opinions. If someone wants to ask me for my opinion, I’m sharing my opinion. Absolutely. But, if they don’t want my opinion, I don’t think it’s my right to go tell them what to do, as a man.”
As a team, coach Jon Gruden said he and his entire coaching staff have been vaccinated, per a league mandate. He also said the players have bought in, although he wasn’t able to give out any statistics on player vaccination levels other than to say “four of five” players haven’t gotten a shot.
…no matter what I say, someone on one side will be mad and someone on the other, you know?Raiders quaterback Derek Carr
“I think we’re as good as anybody in the league or better,” he said. “We hope to have every man vaccinated and most importantly, every man as safe as possible when the season starts.”
Raiders quarterback won’t offer advice on vaccine
One of the issues regarding COVID-19 in the NFL this season is the league has stated they won’t reschedule games due if there is an outbreak, which can cause a team to forfeit games.
The league has also stated that players won’t get paid for games that are forfeited. In mid-July, it was reported that the Raiders were not among the teams to reach the 85 percent threshold of player vaccinations. Even with these consequences, Carr said he doesn’t think he should get in any player’s business about the vaccination.
“Especially in America, I don’t think that’s my right to do that,” the Raiders quarterback said. “If they want my opinion, I will absolutely give it, 100 percent — no problem with that. But I think it’s up to them and their families because they know what they want to do with their families. I can’t make decisions for them and their kids.”
COVID hit the Raiders hard last season, as the league doled out $800,000 in COVID-related fines to the team. At one point, they were even stripped of a draft pick, although that decision was later rescinded.
Carr takes lead in training
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been very involved in other aspects in getting his team prepared for the upcoming season. He said in the offseason, he would call members of the receiving group about getting together in the early morning for a workout, just to see how committed they were to the process.
“I would challenge these guys in the offseason just to see what they would say,” Carr said. “It’s our off time and we don’t have anything we have to do, but they would be like, ‘Hey, let’s throw.’ ‘I’m like perfect, see you at 5:45 a.m.’ And they’d be like ‘deal.’ Every one of them to the man was like, ‘Yeah, see you there.’ And I was just kind of testing them. I just wanted to see if they’d be like, ‘Well, can we go at 8 a.m.?’ I just wanted to see what they would say, and they were like ‘deal.’
“So, I was like dang, I got to wake up. But it was impressive because when you do something like that you grow a certain bond with guys, and I think our relationships are super strong, so I’m excited about it.”