With regards to Chaz Schilens there is one word looming large over his career. The dirty if word.
If healthy, Schilens is the best wide receiver on the roster.
The problem is that if is now becoming if-ever.
With news of Schilens undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee comes the reality of the Raiders once again staring the regular season without their top target out wide who will now be sidelined indefinitely. For Schilens this is becoming an all too familiar refrain. Injury without contact, more time spent rehabilitating. Most troubling of all is that the most recent knee debacle is being blamed for overcompensation due to the nagging foot.
The time has come for the Raiders to move on.
Not necessarily giving up on the promise Schilens has to offer but to simply assume that he’ll never be healthy enough for a sustainable period of time necessary to develop into a top tier wide receiver.
With second year stud Louis Murphy ready to assume the throne and Darrius Heyward-Bey still trying to find his rhythm, the Raiders have young talent they’ll need to lean on. The next move should be to go after a veteran to solidify the receiving core. After that, getting Schilens healthy for any contribution later in the year is the only reliable solution.
His size, speed and hands make Chaz an ideal target. But just weeks after pondering how durable Schilens is, the answer is as clear as a cloudless day in the Bay. He’s not at all durable and to no fault of his own. That is what is most unfortunate. All of the injury woes Schilens has endured over the last two years are due to him being injury prone and nothing more.
Maybe he’s got a case of the Darren McFadden’s.
Whatever the case, the Raiders now know that they can’t count on Schilens being healthy at all this season. The cautious approach didn’t pay off. Resting Schilens all offseason and well into camp has only prolonged his return to good health. At least there are two more preseason games for Jason Campbell and his young receivers to get on the same page.
JC should get used to life without Chaz. So too should the Raider organization.
Perhaps we’ve seen the last of the 7th round steal from SDSU, perhaps not. For now, the Raiders can forget about any hopes of Schilens being a consistent contributor in their reborn offense.
If he’s ever healthy, we can revisit his potential and place on the roster. But as always with Schilens, that’s a big IF.