Hue Jackson, like every head coach in the NFL, has two priorities during training camp. The first, obviously, is to get his team prepared for the season. The second is to keep his players injury free.
Unfortunately coaches control injuries the way Roger Goodell controls James Harrison – they don’t. That is pretty much an impossible task for Coach Jackson.
As camp continues the likelihood of injury increases and lately the injury bug has found a nice home in Napa.
Louis Murphy has been out of camp for sometime now. Today we learned he won’t be back until after the first week of the regular season at the earliest. Murphy’s Law is in effect as the team’s leading receiver from a year ago will shut it down to have surgery for an undisclosed injury.
To add injury to injury Chris Johnson is also slated to go under the knife for yet another undisclosed injury. Unlike Murphy, Johnson is expected to be back in time for the season opener.
We can only hope.
After watching the young Raider DBs chase the Arizona Cardinals around like Keystone Cops last week the last thing this team needed was to lose a veteran corner. Now DeMarcus Van Dyke is going to have to play opposite Stanford Routt while Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware battle for the nickel spot.
Murphy’s injury is troubling being that he was supposedly resting a sore hamstring. Now that he needs surgery there is a certain level of concern. With Jacoby Ford on the mend and Chaz Schilens being Chaz Schilnes there’s a little room to worry.
Mind you the receivers aren’t nearly as much a concern as the cornerbacks.
Oakland has got to get more help at cornerback. Be it by trade, free agency or miracle something has to happen and quick. Replacing Chris Johnson is a lot easier than replacing Nnamdi Asomugha. But expecting this team to make a playoff push with youngsters learning on the job is just not very realistic.
Let’s hope these are just minor procedures. A prolonged absence for both Murphy and Johnson would be a bad way to begin the season.