Update: New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr cleared concussion protocol late Friday afternoon. Read the transcript of his pool report interview.
Quarterback Derek Carr practiced full Friday but remained in concussion protocol as the New Orleans Saints (5-7) neared completion of preparation for Sunday's game against Carolina (1-11) in the Caesars Superdome.
Carr on Sunday suffered his second concussion in three games, in addition to injuring his right shoulder and rib, in New Orleans 33-28 loss to Detroit. It was the third game this season that Carr had not been able to complete due to injury; he's listed as questionable for Sunday.
"He's got to go through the full process," Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. "I think he's made progress, but he's got to go through the full process."
Carr and Jameis Winston, who has finished each of the three games Carr exited early due to injury, shared snaps with the starters this week.
"When you go through the concussion protocol, there are some steps that have to happen," Allen said. "And there was some early conversation with the doctors in terms of – like, we had Chris Olave last year that had the concussion and we kind of knew pretty early in the week that it was going to be hard for him, because of the severity of the concussion, it was going to be hard for him to clear.
"We didn't get that sense from doctors with Derek. And so, we kind of had to manage the week a little bit not 100 percent knowing. So both of those guys (Carr and Winston) have gotten opportunities and gotten reps, and both of those guys will be prepared to play if their number is called. That's kind of the way we handled it."
Additionally, receiver Chris Olave , the team leader in receptions (68) and receiving yards (890), has been sidelined with the flu and did not practice Thursday or Friday. Olave also is listed as questionable.
"He's has been at home, because we don't want that going through the rest of the roster," Allen said. "He's on medication, he'll be back in here this afternoon with the doctors.
"When you get a situation like that, you try to keep those guys away from the rest of the team as much as you can so you don't have that running through the team. But he has been involved with the gameplan. If he's healthy enough to play and feels well enough to play, he'll be out there on Sunday."
In his absence – and the absence of Michael Thomas (injured reserve with a knee injury) and Rashid Shaheed (hasn't practiced this week and questionable Sunday with a thigh injury) – the Saints have had to rely on other receivers (primarily A.T. Perry, Keith Kirkwood, Lynn Bowden Jr.) this week in practice.
"Some other guys have to step up and practice and execute, and then they'll have to be ready to go if Chris isn't able to go," Allen said.
"I would anticipate, hopefully, that (Olave) will be able to go. But if he's not, some other guys are going to have to step up. But I thought our guys handled it well this week."
Olave recently has snapped out of a difficult patch. After catching 28 passes for 261 yards in Games 4-9, he caught 18 passes for 327 yards in the last three games.
"I think he has played really well," Allen said. "There was a lot of talk about him earlier in the season, and he went through a rough patch. But he fought through the adversity. He knew to stick to the process, keep coming out here every day going to work, and that's really what he did.
"And as the season goes on I think he's gotten more and more opportunities and I think he has taken advantage of those opportunities. Really proud of what he has been able to do and fight through that, because it's not easy. But I think he has done a nice job of that."