This isn’t exactly how the Oakland Raiders drew it up.
Entering Week 16 at 12-3, the Raiders seemed poised for a deep playoff run behind MVP candidate Derek Carr. Then disaster struck: Carr broke his fibula and backup quarterback Matt McGloin suffered a shoulder injury in Week 17, forcing Oakland to turn to rookie Connor Cook in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card Game against the Houston Texans.
The good news for the Raiders is that McGloin, while not healthy enough to start, is expected to be active Saturday and serve as Cook’s backup. The bad news is, well, this:
That’s right: Oakland’s third-string quarterback behind a rookie and an injured backup is wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree is a logical (if scary) choice for the Raiders; he played quarterback at Carter High School in Dallas (yes, that one) throwing for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, and Oakland’s banged-up squad can’t afford to use three roster spots on quarterbacks for a playoff game.
Crabtree even staked his claim to the role earlier this week.
“Anybody goes down, I’m going to be the quarterback,” the veteran wideout said, via ESPN.com.
He wouldn’t be the first wide receiver to play backup QB, either: Julian Edelman technically was the New England Patriots’ emergency signal-caller in Week 2 after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with an injury against the Miami Dolphins.
Any quarterback who goes under center Saturday could face a tough time against the Texans’ No. 1-ranked defense in yards allowed. Then again, Houston has one of the worst offenses in NFL playoff history, so Crabtree and Co. might not have to do much.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images