Derek Carr's absence might end up being for less than a full game.
The quarterback improved in participation status Wednesday, going from a limited participant in Las Vegas' Tuesday practice to a full participant Wednesday, per the team's official injury report.
Carr exited Las Vegas' Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers with a groin injury and was replaced by Marcus Mariota, who impressed and nearly led the Raiders to an overtime win.
It's still not clear whether Carr will start, but if he were to return for Saturday's marquee meeting at 8:15 p.m. ET on NFL Network with Miami, he'd be nearly a week ahead of the two weeks he was initially anticipated to miss.
Las Vegas can't afford to lose another game if it hopes to make the postseason. At 7-7, the Raiders must win out and get plenty of help -- including Miami losing its Week 17 game to bring the Dolphins into a tie with the Raiders -- in order to reach the playoffs.
It's not a likely outcome, but neither was Carr's participation in Saturday's affair. At least one has a somewhat decent chance of beating the odds this weekend.