Raiders’ stretch without throwing interception best since 2001

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws the football as running back Doug Martin (28) blocks Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Kenny Young (40) at the line of scrimmage during the first half Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (Heidi Fang Las Vegas Review-Journal )

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Monday that he’s been impressed with how quarterback Derek Carr has adapted to a new scheme, new receiver personnel, inconsistency on the offensive line and a new feature back all in the space of one year.

There is another aspect, too, he can appreciate.

“He’s taking care of the football,” Gruden said. “I don’t know when the last interception is that he’s thrown.”

During Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Carr extended a career-long streak without an interception, pushing it to six straight games. Gruden, of course, remembers the last pick. It occurred Oct. 7 on a third-quarter, first-and-goal pass against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Raiders (2-9) are one game from tying their franchise record for most consecutive games without an interception. The seven-game mark was set in 2001 during Gruden’s previous campaign with the club. Rich Gannon, in his third year under Gruden’s system, was the quarterback. It helped having Tim Brown and Jerry Rice at wide receiver and Charlie Garner at running back.

Gruden has said that running back Jalen Richard reminds him of Garner.

Of his receivers today, he’s notably made no such comparisons to Brown or Rice.

For further context, Gannon was sacked nine times in his seven-game streak. Carr has been sacked 24 times in six games.

“I think he’s a heck of a quarterback, honestly,” Gruden said of Carr. “I’ll just leave it at that. I look forward to some day when we have a lot of pieces in place, and we have some continuity; everybody is used to playing with one another. … I just think this guy has a real high ceiling. He has a lot of pride in his performance. Taking care of the football and being available every day on the practice field and on game day is a priority.”

Carr threw eight interceptions in the first five games before admitting Oct. 7 to pressing.

Clearly, an adjustment was made.

Notable

* Wide receiver Johnny Holton was waived from the 53-man roster to create room for tight end Darren Waller. Waller, a former wide receiver at Georgia Tech, has spent the season on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. Waller will remain at tight end in Oakland.

* Defensive end Jacquies Smith (Achilles tendon) will be placed on injured reserve, Gruden said. This marks the second time in as many games the Raiders have lost a veteran to an Achilles injury. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell was the other.

* The Raiders plan to activate nose tackle Justin Ellis (foot) from injured reserve this week, Gruden said. He’s been out since the Sept. 10 opener versus the Los Angeles Rams. A team can activate up to two players off IR in a given year. Right tackle Donald Penn could be the second. “I don’t know how close he is officially, but he is making progress,” Gruden said. “I hope to have him on the field before the season is over.”

— Wide receiver Jordy Nelson was “obviously not 100 percent” Sunday, Gruden said, when returning from a one-game absence for a knee contusion.“I give him a lot of credit, man, for going out there and giving us everything he has,” Gruden said. “Hopefully he’ll be closer to 100 percent this week.”

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reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow on Twitter.

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