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Update: New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr clears concussion protocol

Transcript of pool report interview with Luke Johnson of The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate



FRIDAY, DEC. 8, 2023

How are you feeling right now?

"I have felt better, but I'm doing great, that's for sure. Thank you for asking."

This is two concussions in the span of three weeks, so the obvious question is if there is any additional concern for you with that in such a short span of time, either short-term concerns or long-term concerns?

"I don't really have any concerns. I did some extra tests and things like that this week, just checking on things. Our doctors and the non-affiliated doctor said everything was perfect, they showed me the results in comparison to things. I do not have any worries on that stuff. It didn't feel like the two were even related to one another. So, for me, that's just sometimes the price of doing business and playing football. So no concern on that part, long-term or short-term. Fully confident that I can be alright playing with that part of it."

Did the protocol change after the second injury, was the treatment different in any way? Or was it all self-contained, where it was treated all as its own separate injury?

"The protocol remained the same. There was maybe a slightly couple (different) things just because of having two (concussions) that I had to do. And then the Saints doctors and trainers went above and beyond to take even a few more steps, just to make sure they knew i was good and I knew I was good, that everyone in the building felt confident about my health being No. 1, just as a man, and being able to accomplish the job I'm asked to do every Sunday. I appreciated that. Maybe it took a couple more minutes, a couple more seconds here and there to do some things, but it's definitely the smart thing to do and I appreciate them for looking out for me that way."

Going back to last week's game, when you're getting some of the fan reaction that you got last week how do you personally handle that?

"You play this game long enough, it's not the first time that someone gets upset. I am completely frustrated with not starting the game off right either, but that immediately changed. We start throwing it well, running it well, we were very explosive that day. The crowd in the Dome was rocking, we were scoring and all those things. Again, that stuff happens, it is what it is, that's a part of sports. But, whether you agree, disagree, any of that kind of stuff, it doesn't really matter. It's a part of the game sometimes, especially when you're losing a football game the way we were losing a football game. But I was proud of the way we fought back and turned those things into some loud cheers. I just wish I could have finished that game off, because I really believe we could have won that game."

Offensively, why do you think things were starting to click before your injury?

"We had a great game plan. We ran one play and the ball ends up in their hands and no one ever plans on that happening — even when I threw it, I didn't think that was going to happen. Stuff happens. Balls get tipped up, all that kind of stuff. But we never lost confidence on the next drive. We knew we had a great plan, we were seeing the things we wanted to see. Sometimes it takes a second for those plays to start clicking and for us to start executing at a high level. We started doing that and thankfully we did, because if it kept going the other way it would've been a really rough day. We were able to get going. We want to make sure that if we start fast, we don't have to worry about all of that other stuff happening. This place has been great to me since I got here, and that's not going to change. I'm as frustrated as they were in that moment, but at the end of the day, we know what we're doing, we're working hard and we're getting better. We've just got to get some wins."

Are you comfortable with the amount you were able to prepare this week just given everything you had to do to clear the protocol and recover from the injuries you sustained last week?

"Yeah, absolutely. It was a few more hours, maybe, into the day. But those are the sacrifices you make, especially this late in the year when everyone is dealing with stuff. Everyone has got a broken something, dealing with this or dealing with that. I got my treatment, I did my protocol stuff, but I also, most importantly, made sure that I did everything I need to do to accomplish my job. I always believe to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift, so I'm never going to give anything less than my best. The preparation and all that, the work will get done. Maybe it will get done a little later than usual, but whatever it takes, you've got to get the work done."

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