If Chaz Schilens were healthy at the start of the 2009 season, JaMarcus Russell might still be a Raider. No, not even Chaz could convince the Codeine King to put down the Purple Stuff. But he certainly could have helped Russell’s completion percentage reach a modest rate of 50%.
The chemistry between Russell and Schilens was undeniable, too bad for JaMarcus that he lost his security blanket in training camp last year.
How Schilens wound up missing the first half of the ’09 season is the most alarming fact of all. The foot injury that effectively grounded the passing attack happened in a non-contact drill. What was supposed to take a month to heal took two. What was supposed to be a thing of the past is still present today.
The Raiders aren’t taking any risks with Schilens. They know all too well just how important the former San Diego State Aztec is to Hue Jackson’s offense. After undergoing a second surgery on his foot, Schilens was held out of OTAs and has been restricted in training camp as well. Tom Cable will tell anybody listening that this is all precautionary but one can’t help but wonder just how durable Chaz Schilens truly is.
As if his foot wasn’t enough of a concern, Schilens offered the Raiders a throat-in-heart moment during Friday’s afternoon session. Steve Corkran sums up the occurrence.
The excitement that emanated from an impressive over-the-shoulder catch by wide receiver Chaz Schilens on Friday dissipated once he landed hard and needed several seconds to right himself.
Schilens said he suffered a stinger on the left side of his neck and shoulder that required attention from team athletic trainers.
Schilens would later shrug off the stinger, saying he’s “all right” and that it is “no problem”. Still, there is a bigger question lurking in the minds of Raider fans, coaches and players alike. I fear even writing it, but here it goes.
Is Chaz Schilens injury prone?
Due to the nature of the sport, most football players are never truly healthy. Most will play through a litany of injuries, most of which will never even be known by anyone outside of the locker room. All of this is expected when one receives an NFL paycheck.
However, there are those athletes that are just more susceptible to injuries than others.
Perhaps this is nothing more than nervous assertion. The paranoid ramblings of a Raider fan who so desperately wants to see the likes of Schilens and Darren McFadden breakout in 2010.
No matter the level of concern there is surrounding the health of Schilens, there is still an undeniable concern.
The ’09 Raiders were already dealt a lethal blow by having #2 under center. Losing Schilens was the icing on the cake. In 2010, things look to be much different with Jason Campbell at the helm. However even JC needs a healthy Schilens if he has any designs of fully realizing his potential as the savior of the franchise.
For now Chaz is healthy enough and that is the good news. The bad news is that could easily change in a matter of seconds. Here’s hoping Chaz is more Brett Favre than he is Ken Griffey Jr. with regards to playing injured.