GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr was being evaluated after hurting his shoulder when he was sacked in the third quarter of an 18-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Saints coach Dennis Allen said after the game that he believed Carr was getting X-rays but had no further updates.
“He’s being evaluated,” Allen said. “I can’t tell you really any more than that. It’s a shoulder injury. He’s being evaluated. When we know what it is, we’ll let you know.”
After getting sacked by Rashan Gary, Carr remained on the ground for a few minutes before leaving the field under his own power. He was checked out in the blue medical tent before heading to the locker room.
The possible impact of a long-term injury to Carr, who signed a four-year, $150 million contract in the offseason after being released by Las Vegas, was apparent from Sunday’s result.
New Orleans (2-1) led 17-0 when Carr got hurt. The Saints got outscored 18-0 without him, though backup Jameis Winston drove New Orleans into scoring position before Blake Grupe’s 46-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right with 1:05 left.
“We know that we let this one slip away,” Winston said. “But we will be resilient. We will persevere.”
New Orleans’ late collapse prevented the Saints from producing their first 3-0 start since 2013, when they won their first five games.
Carr was 13 of 18 for 103 yards with a touchdown pass. Winston went 10 of 16 for 101 yards. The Saints needed their passing game to fare well because they rushed for just 77 yards on 22 carries with Jamaal Williams on injured reserve and Alvin Kamara finishing his three-game suspension to open the season.
That Carr’s injury came on a sack shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
New Orleans has allowed a dozen sacks through three games. The Saints’ offensive line suffered a blow Sunday when guard Cesar Ruiz left with a concussion in the first half.
“It’s terrible when anyone gets hurt,” guard James Hurst said. “As an offensive lineman, it’s our job to keep him up, keep him off the ground, and the reality is you never know what hit it’s going to be. It could be any hit. He could get sacked or he could throw the ball and still get hit. It’s our job to keep him up, keep him protected. He’s gotten hit too much, so just really sad for him.”
There was plenty of blame to go around for the Saints’ blown lead.
New Orleans benefited in its first two from a bend-but-don’t-break defense that had allowed eight field goals but only one touchdown. New Orleans continued that pattern for much of the day as the Packers had four scoreless trips to Saints territory.
When Jordan Love threw an incompletion on fourth-and-2 from the New Orleans 13-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Saints’ 17-0 lead seemed secure.
But the defense finally broke down in that final period as Love led three straight scoring drives, including touchdowns on back-to-back possessions. Green Bay got a major assist on its first touchdown drive from pass interference penalties on Alontae Taylor and Isaac Yiadom that totaled 67 yards.
“They started to do some things a little bit different,” Saints linebacker Demario Davis said. “They were able to move the ball with tempo. The quarterback just made some plays, the receivers made some catches. You’ve got to give credit to them, they made some plays down the stretch.”
The Saints gave up 20 points or fewer for an 11th straight game, but that didn’t provide any comfort for a team that now has concerns about its quarterback’s future.
“We feel like we had the game pretty much in our hands,” said Rashid Shaheed, whose 76-yard punt return gave the Saints an early 14-0 lead. “It came down to execution at the end, and we just didn’t do that.”
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