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What, Derek Carr worry about a transverse process fracture?

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr was playing coy ... even if all signs point to him actually, you know, playing for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Playing two weeks after he suffered a transverse process fracture in his back against the Denver Broncos, a week after sitting out the Raiders' 30-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"We'll see," Carr said with a grin. "I was ready to play last week, in my head. I think that's how I always think. We'll let coach make that decision. My job is to show up every day. Nothing changes for us ... my job doesn't change. I just have to go out there and practice hard, show him that I'm ready."

Receiver Amari Cooper said he has seen vintage Carr of late.

"I haven't seen any restrictions [with the injury]," Cooper said. "He looks like him."

Carr, like the Raiders, got off to a quick start in wins against the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets, completing 75 percent of his passes.

Then came the prime-time meltdown on national television against Washington, a game in which Carr was sacked four times and threw two interceptions, including on the first play of the game, in the eventual 27-10 loss.

The injury at Denver came next, with Carr sacked in the third quarter while trailing 16-7 in what would be a 16-10 loss.

"You look back at Washington and I felt like that was an anomaly," Carr said. "Then you look back at the Denver game. We actually did some really good things against a really, really good defense. We had a chance to win the game at the end. Against that defense, that's all you can ask for, is a chance to win."

Then might Carr sitting out last week's Baltimore loss actually serve a bigger purpose, allowing him, as an observer, to better diagnose what ails the Raiders' once-high powered offense?

"Anybody sitting there watching, standing there, not inside the lines, can be like, 'Oh man, that looks good or this looks good,'" Carr said. "You have to go out there and do it. It did help, in a sense, for my body to have seven more days of rest, but mentally, I'm still locked in. I prepared for that game like it was the Super Bowl. Just like I do for all of them.

"Nothing changes, mentally. I think more physically ... just another seven days coach felt was good for me."

The Chargers, meanwhile, boast two of the best pass-rushers in the NFL in Melvin Ingram, who leads the AFC with 7.5 sacks, and Joey Bosa, who has 4.5 sacks.

Is there an even bigger target on Carr’s back with his injury, then?

"I don't think that's really a mindset, at least of mine, to ever injure a player," Bosa said on a conference call Wednesday. "I wouldn't say I'm trying to hit a quarterback more than any other day. I'm always trying to hit them as much as I can.

"I heard quotes of Carr saying he would have played last week if he needed to. He's a tough guy. I'm sure when he's out there he's going to be making plays. It's still the same guy that just got the biggest contract in NFL history, so ..."

True, Carr did ink that five-year, $125 million contract this summer, but he has since been passed by the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford.

But if money doesn't motivate Carr, who might wear additional padding on his back against the Chargers, neither does a pain in the back.

"You know, I think anytime you take a hit like that there's always a chance for anything," Carr said. "That's the risk that we take every time we take the field. It's a violent game that we play. More violent than people realize just watching on TV."

Carr said you could also break a finger, or an ankle.

Those were two injuries he suffered last year, and about what he commiserated with older brother David, the No. 1 pick of the 2002 NFL draft.

"I knew it hurt really bad," Carr said of his back. "I'll be honest with you, it hurt so bad that I was like, 'I kind of hope it's something rather than a muscle. I hope my pain tolerance is a little better than that,' and sure enough, it was.

"When I first hurt it, I was shocked. First of all, I didn't even know what [a transverse process] was, I think like a lot of people. My brother actually did the same thing. It's good to have a big brother that has broke his back also."