Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson played Sunday for the Raiders despite missing practice all week to deal with a personal matter.
He didn’t miss a beat.
Jefferson had three tackles, two quarterback hits and forced a fumble by stripping the Eagles’ Kenneth Gainwell late in the second quarter to set up a field goal in the Raiders’ 33-32 victory at Allegiant Stadium.
Not bad for a guy the team wasn’t sure was going to play as late as Saturday.
“Quinton came back (to town Saturday) and had a chance to visit with our guys, and we had a chance to visit with him,” interim coach Rich Bisaccia said. “He felt like he was physically good to go and felt where his spirit was, he was also ready to play. He’s been around a long time, and he played and played really well.”
The performance didn’t come as a surprise to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who has known Jefferson since they played together collegiately at Maryland.
“For a guy to not practice all week and force a turnover like that speaks volumes about how much he loves this game,” said Ngakoue, who had two sacks. “So obviously while he was away, he was handling his business watching tape and what he was eating.”
Tight end Darren Waller missed his first game since making his debut with the Raiders late in the 2018 season, snapping a streak of 42 straight games played.
Waller tried to go through pregame warmups, but the decision was made to make him inactive. It was especially prudent with a bye week coming up, which gives Waller an extra week to make sure his ankle is healthy before a game against the Giants on Nov. 7.
“He obviously didn’t dress today,” Bisaccia said. “He got hurt toward the end of Friday’s practice. We worked him out a bit today in pregame, and he just didn’t feel like he was 100 percent and couldn’t go.”
With Foster Moreau taking over most of the offensive snaps, linebacker Marquel Lee and tight end Matt Bushman were activated largely to help fill Moreau’s spots on special teams.
It was Bushman’s NFL debut.
Running back Josh Jacobs left the game late in the first half and did not return. Bisaccia is likely to provide an update during his weekly Monday news conference.
“Josh got hit in the chest,” Bisaccia said. “We’re in the process of trying to figure out what that is.”
Carr revs it up
Quarterback Derek Carr turned in one of the most efficient performances of his career, completing 31 of 34 passes (91.2 percent).
It’s the second-highest percentage in a game in which a quarterback attempted at least 30 passes, behind the 96.7 percent by Drew Brees in 2019.
Carr broke his own franchise record for completion percentage in a game and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to complete 90 percent of his passes, throw for 300-plus yards and at least two touchdowns. Brees and Craig Morton previously did it, as did current Raiders backup Marcus Mariota in 2018.
According to Next Gen Stats, Carr completed plus-15.5 percent over expected. It’s the best of any qualifying quarterback in the NFL this season and the best for Carr in the past six seasons.
He was helped out by the offensive line, which surrendered zero sacks and paved the way for more than 4 yards per carry for the first time since Week 10 of last season.
“We’re going to go as they go,” Carr said of the line. “If they make the holes and we have time to throw it, we feel confident in our attack.”
Bisaccia made sure Carr got credit, too.
“He’s so accurate,” Bisaccia said. “He can literally go through an entire Wednesday and Thursday practice and there’s possibly two or three incompletions and he ends up throwing them again.”