Derek Carr returns to practice for Raiders after back injury

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Four days after suffering a transverse process fracture in his back, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr surprisingly practiced on Thursday.

Carr went through the stretch period and threw passes to receivers during the open media window portion of practice.

Officially, Carr was listed as being limited.

A day earlier, Carr was doing non-weight bearing work in the team's rehab pool at the facility as practice began.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Monday that Carr would be out two to six weeks.

"He said he's sorry," Del Rio said at the time. "Great kid. He'll bounce back. I told him that the team will take care of business while he's healing and just get healed up and when he can come back, he'll come back."

Carr was injured on a sack by Adam Gotsis late in the third quarter of the Raiders' 16-10 loss at the Denver Broncos on Sunday when he was twisted down awkwardly.

"Pain," Carr said Sunday, describing what he felt when he went down. "My back didn't feel too good."

Carr, who signed a then-record five-year, $125 million contract in June, endured a fractured pinkie on his passing hand last November and a broken fibula on his right leg in Week 16.

He has passed for 753 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 67.9 percent of his passes thus far this season. But despite his presence on the practice field, Carr is still expected to miss at least this weekend's home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

EJ Manuel will start at quarterback for Oakland against the Ravens.

Players can typically return to play as the pain allows, even as the bone continues to heal because of the low risk involved.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in a car accident in 2014 and missed one game. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo also missed only one game after suffering two transverse process fractures in a game in 2014, the result of a knee in the back by Washington linebacker Keenan Robinson.