Raiders count on E.J. Manuel to step up with Derek Carr hurt

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, left, sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback EJ Manuel during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders’ season was derailed last year as soon as star quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

The Raiders’ ability to survive with E.J. Manuel under center instead of Carr this year will determine whether they will still be in playoff contention after he returns from a back injury that could sideline him between two and six weeks.

One big difference is the Raiders have a more capable backup in Manuel this season after Matt McGloin and Connor Cook were unable to get anything going in a regular-season loss last year at Denver that cost Oakland the division title and then a playoff loss in Houston.

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