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With playoffs looming, the Las Vegas Raiders have become desperate.
In fact, the Raiders (7-7) need to win their final two games and pray and light holy candles for a little help to have any chance of making the postseason. They actually face one of the teams they could catch, the Miami Dolphins, on Sunday.
So it’s no surprise that Raiders coach Jon Gruden is seeking any possible edge against his opponent that he can find. He’s even keeping the Dolphins guessing about who their starting quarterback will be — Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota.
Carr would usually be the answer. He was the starter until suffering a groin injury vs. the Chargers in Week 15. Then Mariota stepped in and actually played fairly well.
So, coach, who’s your man?
“I am not going to let the cat out of the bag … both quarterbacks have prepared to play,” Gruden told reporters.
Gruden did at least admit Thursday that Carr practiced for a third straight day and that he’s “optimistic” Carr will be available for Sunday. But that could be little more than a half-truth and strategy to keep the Dolphins guessing.
So Carr? Mariota? Who really knows? There is only one right answer, and that is this — the Raiders absolutely, positively must win this weekend for it to even matter.