For the second time in a month, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is answering for his team in the throes of a major crisis. This time, Carr has spoken about the ongoing situation surrounding wide receiver and 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs, who was cut by the Raiders after causing a fatal car accident while he was under the influence of alcohol.
Ruggs was driving at 156 MPH with a blood alcohol content two times over the legal limit when he crashed into another vehicle on Tuesday morning, killing a 23-year old woman and her dog. He also reportedly had a loaded gun in the car.
Carr spoke about Ruggs' situation during his Wednesday press conference on Wednesday and said he will "be there" for his former teammate.
"I will always be here for him. That won't change, and I will prove that over the course of time to him. Not to anybody else," Carr said. "But he needs people to love him right now. He's probably feeling a certain type of way about himself right now, and he needs to be loved. And if no one else will do it, I'll do it."
In addition to putting the Raiders in the mix for the AFC West title on the field, Carr has also had to assume the added responsibility of representing the franchise as a whole over the last month. Before this Ruggs situation, Carr, as the face of the franchise, had to answer for former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who resigned under duress after emails he had written containing offensive and disparaging language were leaked to the media.
Carr acknowledged that the situation with Ruggs elicited emotions that were both similar and different to those stemming from Gruden stepping down. But with that, he believes that the message must remain the same.
"Honestly I don't want it to right now, if I'm selfish. ... I want to say a lot of different things, but we have a game this week, and I've got a job to do and so do the guys in that locker room," Carr said. "... I don't know the right way to handle it, but I'm doing my best."