- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders sent Derek Carr home to rest after the rookie quarterback showed up Tuesday feeling ill.

It’s the first practice that Carr has missed since being selected as Oakland’s starter at the end of the preseason. The 23-year-old has also been slowed by ankle, knee and thumb injuries this year.

Interim coach Tony Sparano said he was hopeful Carr will be back on Wednesday.

“He came in a little sick today so I sent him home,” Sparano said. “I would expect (him back). We’ll see how it goes.”

Matt Schaub, who lost the starting job to Carr coming out of training camp, split reps with second-year quarterback Matt McGloin with Oakland’s first-team offense during practice.

The 36th overall pick in the draft, Carr has started all 15 games for the Raiders this season. He leads rookie quarterbacks in completions (330), yards passing (3,112) and touchdowns (20). He also has thrown the fewest interceptions (11) of any rookie in NFL history with at least 500 attempts.

He has already become a fan favorite in Oakland, which has been starving for a franchise quarterback since four-time Pro Bowl pick and 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon retired a decade ago.

Carr is also popular among his teammates, who long ago quit looking at the 23-year-old as a rookie.

“His poise and his leadership ability,” Raiders left tackle Donald Penn said. “He does it just being himself. It comes natural to him.”

Penn, a nine-year veteran who signed with Oakland in the offseason after spending his career in Tampa Bay, said it didn’t take long for Carr’s teammates to realize his potential.

“My first rep with Derek in the backfield was in Seattle,” Penn said, referring to the Raiders final preseason game on Aug. 28 when Carr made his first start of any kind in the NFL.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into. But he came in there and took control … and when you do stuff like that you earn respect. Nobody has to give it to you, you earned it.”

Carr’s success this season has come somewhat at the expense of Schaub, who was obtained from the Texans in the offseason and immediately picked to be the starter by then-Oakland coach Dennis Allen.

Schaub has played sparingly since getting beat out by Carr and was booed resoundingly by Raiders fans last Sunday when he trotted onto the field after it appeared Carr was hurt. The Raiders wound up taking a timeout and Carr came back to finish the game.

Notes: Fullback Marcel Reece was selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. First-round pick Khalil Mack and safety Charles Woodson were selected as alternates.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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