New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr has cleared concussion protocol and is expected to start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, a league source confirmed Friday. NewOrleans.Football first reported the news.
Carr hasn’t missed a start after exiting the Saints’ 33-28 Week 13 loss to the Detroit Lions. He took a hard hit from Lions defensive end Bruce Irvin in the fourth quarter Sunday. New Orleans has listed Carr as questionable with a concussion as well as back and shoulder injuries, but the quarterback was a full participant in practice Friday.
Carr had 226 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception before leaving the game. Jameis Winston checked in at QB and helped the Saints finish a drive with a 1-yard Alvin Kamara touchdown run. He also completed two passes for 41 yards.
The Saints are 5-7 and a game back from the 6-6 Falcons leading the NFC South, while the Panthers (1-11) are last in the division.
What his return means for New Orleans
Does Carr still give the Saints the best chance to win? Probably so. But there’s no question much of the Saints’ fan base has turned on Carr. He’s been middle of the road at best for the Saints this season. And the team has underachieved in a poor division. So Carr is taking the brunt of the heat for the poor performances by the offense.
The Saints witnessed firsthand the dismay of the Who Dat fans during last Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Whenever the Saints put Taysom Hill in to take QB snaps, the fans would cheer. When the Saints would put Carr back in the game, fans would boo and jeer. The booing has been a subject during media sessions throughout the week so it’s definitely a thing. — Larry Holder, senior NFL writer
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