Derek Carr set for 'evaluation' after leaving Saints' loss

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr left his team's 33-28 loss to the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter and did not return after being placed in concussion protocol. Carr left with shoulder and back injuries, leaving backup Jameis Winston to finish the game.

This is the third time that Carr has left a game this season with an injury. He sprained the AC joint in his throwing shoulder in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers and was put in concussion protocol in a Week 10 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Carr also aggravated the same shoulder injury in that game and left in a cart after initially walking to the sideline on his own.

"I have never been hurt this much in my life in one season," Carr said after the Saints returned from their bye last week. "So if I'm honest ... it's been a little frustrating."

Carr took a hard hit from Lions pass-rusher Bruce Irvin and remained on the ground as the medical staff attended to him. The Saints pulled a cart up as Carr stayed on the ground, but he eventually walked to the medical tent on his own and after being evaluated in the tent, walked to the locker room.

"I don't know that," Saints coach Dennis Allen said when asked if the concussion was serious. "He's going in for evaluation on a couple of different things, but he's in the concussion protocol."

The Saints have dealt with injuries to their quarterbacks for the past several years. Former quarterback Drew Brees was injured at times in 2019 and 2020; Winston tore his ACL in 2021 and was injured at the beginning of last season.

Allen sat Winston in Week 4 of the 2022 season due to "an accumulation of wear and tear" after he had back and foot injuries at the beginning of the season. Winston was replaced by Andy Dalton and did not return to the starting lineup that year.

Allen was asked if he'd consider resting Carr due to his accumulation of injuries, similar to Winston's situation last year. He said that the two quarterbacks were dealing with "totally different situations."

"We're not getting into what we did last year [vs.] what we're doing this year," Allen said. "Look, Derek's in the concussion protocol right now, so we'll evaluate that as we go."

He added: "Obviously with injuries you've certainly got to pay attention to that, but I'm not getting into the business of we're going to compare things from one year to the next."

Allen admitted there was a "concern with some of the injuries that he's suffered" but said Carr would be evaluated just like any other player before they decide on the next step.

Carr finished the game 17-of-22 for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice and was also booed at times during the game by the home crowd.

"There's no doubt from ... the locker room perspective that we love Derek," said offensive lineman James Hurst. "And we know he's going to go out there and I'm going to apparently let him get obliterated and he's going to still try to make the play, he's going to still try to throw the ball. We know what type of person he is and the injuries he's fought through this year already. I think that just, not that we're not motivated, but ... as an offensive lineman, I don't want anyone to even breathe on him.

"I don't want the D-line to touch him. We love him for that. When you're going out there and fighting through things, the AC sprain, the concussion earlier in the year, he's trying to get back as fast as he can. We love that. And that's all you can ask someone to do."