ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr doesn’t expect Kansas City’s defense to change much without suspended cornerback Marcus Peters.
Peters is one of three defensive backs with two interceptions off Carr but he won’t be on the field for Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium. Peters was suspended for one game by Chiefs coach Andy Reid for throwing a penalty flag into the stands last week. Peters also left the field, assuming that he’d been kicked out of the game.
So the slumping Chiefs won’t have their two-time Pro Bowl cornerback against the Raiders in a game that will likely go a long way in determining the AFC West.
For Carr and Oakland’s offense, however, not much changes. Outside of a little extra film work on Peters’ replacement — possibly Darrelle Revis or Terrance Mitchell — the Raiders don’t plan to alter their approach.
“When he’s not in there, you study the next guy,” Carr said Wednesday. “Is he a guesser? There are a lot of guys that people don’t know about in this league that will guess on routes and things like that. It doesn’t change what we do. We still have to go out there and execute our game plan.
“If anything, maybe we throw one or two more the other way. It just depends how they roll the coverages and do those kind of things.”
Carr led the Raiders on an 85-yard game-winning drive in the final minutes of the fourth quarter against the Chiefs in Week 7. Oakland’s quarterback threw 11 passes in that final series, only one toward Peters.
Don’t expect that to change much with Peters not playing.
“You do what you can to adjust,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “This time of year, you’re typically adjusting to injuries that occur. We’ll treat it very similarly to that. We’re trying to get our own group of guys healed up as best as possible for this game.”
While the Chiefs will be missing a key component to their defense, the Raiders will have one of their best offensive players back for the game between the two division rivals.
Michael Crabtree returned from his one-game NFL suspension and was back at practice Wednesday wearing his familiar black hoodie and No. 15 jersey. Crabtree is tied for second on the Raiders with 42 receptions and leads the team with six touchdown catches.
“It’s going to be huge,” Carr said. “Anytime you can get a piece back, it’s nothing against anybody else, but those guys are starters for reasons. Those guys got all the reps. With Crab coming back, it’s no secret I love throwing him the ball. I love Crab and I think a lot of people know that. Being able to get him back, it definitely helps our team.”
As usual, Crabtree declined to talk to reporters but Carr noted the impact of having his top receiver back on the field.
“I know how much Crab is a competitor and I know how much he loves football,” Carr said. “As much as we work hard and love to compete and be out there with our brothers, I know it just was hurting him because he just likes to be out there. For him to be able to come back, I can pretty much promise you he’s juiced and ready to play.”
GIANTS PROGRESS REPORT
2017 FINISH: 64-98 (5th in NL West)
MANAGER: Bruce Bochy (902-880, 12th season)
PERSONNEL EXECUTIVE: Brian Sabean, executive vice president of baseball operations (4th season)
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Highest-paid player: RHP Johnny Cueto ($21.8 million in 2018)
Top returning position player: C Buster Posey (4.0 WAR in 2017, baseball-reference.com)
Top returning pitcher: LHP Madison Bumgarner (2.9 WAR in 2017)
Key addition(s): 3B Evan Longoria (trade), OF Andrew McCutchen (trade), OF Austin Jackson (free agent), LHP Tony Watson (free agent), LHP Derek Holland (minor league free agent), 3B Chase d’Arnaud (minor league free agent), RHP Jose Valdez (minor league free agent), C Hector Sanchez (minor league free agent), RHP Casey Kelly (minor league free agent).
Key subtraction(s): RHP Matt Cain (retired), 1B Michael Morse (free agent), LHP Matt Moore (trade), OF Denard Span (trade), SS Christian Arroyo (trade), RHP Kyle Crick (trade).
Baseball America top-100 prospect(s): OF Heliot Ramos (No. 79).
STORYLINES TO WATCH
The Giants had won three World Series, made four postseason berths and finished third or better in the NL West since the start of 2009 before injuries played a part in burying them in the basement of the division last year. They’re hoping veteran additions — from trades for Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen (31) and Rays 3B Evan Longoria (32) to the signing of OF Austin Jackson (31) — reposition them for contention in 2018 in baseball’s toughest division.
The shoulder injury sustained in a dirt bike accident limited LHP Madison Bumgarner to a career-low 17 starts. Now he’s out again with a broken left pinkie finger. RHP Johnny Cueto (1.7 WAR) fought himself and injuries in his second year in San Francisco. Those two reverting to form alone would boost the Giants’ stock in 2018.
RHP Mark Melancon signed a four-year, $62 million pact before the 2017 season to shore up the Giants’ bullpen only to have forearm trouble limit him to 30 not-so-great innings. The Giants will look for him to bounce back from a September surgery.
— San Diego Union-Tribune