Slowly but surely the injuries are starting to pile up for Hue Jackson and the Oakland Raiders. No other position is being hit as hard as the receiver corps at the moment. We already knew Louis Murphy was going to be out this week and for the foreseeable future. But today we got word of a few other receivers that are either questionable or out for Sunday’s battle in Buffalo.
Jacoby Ford didn’t practice all week and as a result has been ruled out for Sunday. Now it might finally be Miller Time as Nick could see the first expanded action of his pro career. Miller might be tapped to return kicks, punts and figures to get some reps at receiver as well.
Hopefully Ford’s hamstring injury isn’t going to develop into something more serious going forward. After a breakout rookie campaign big things were expected of the former Clemson Tiger this season.
While both Ford and Murphy are guaranteed not to play, Darrius Heyward-Bey is questionable.
DHB tweaked his knee in practice and looks like a game time decision. If his “ding” proves problematic it would be a huge hindrance to Hey-Bey who is finally showing some of that promise that made him a top 10 pick.
With the potential of up to three receivers being out of action it will be up to Chaz Schilens, rookie Denarius Moore, the aforementioned Miller and Derek Hagan to step up.
Moore was the star of training camp and could be the biggest benefactor from extended PT. If he shows the same flashes in the regular season as he did in the preseason then Denarius could force his way into a larger role in the offense.
Schilens is the guy all of Raider Nation has been waiting to see blossom into a #1 target for Jason Campbell. His size, speed, hands and route running are by far the best of the bunch for Oakland. How ironic that the oft-injured Schilens could benefit from injuries to others?
As for Hagan – Oakland’s most productive receiver in the preseason – don’t bother asking Coach Jackson about that subject. As far as the coach is concerned all Hagan did was earn a job and not a role, as it should be.
Having a great preseason is like having a great score on the Pre-SATs. It means next to nothing. Hagan was a dynamic playmaker in college but has shown little of that in the pros. Should he produce when his number is called this Sunday then we can revisit the topic. Until then I’m rolling with Hue Jackson’s take on the situation.