At this point in the NFL season everyone is playing with an injury of some sort. That being said, it seems as if the Raiders are more banged up and wounded than the rest of the league.
As of yesterday a staggering 11 men sat out practice. It is to the point where you can’t even keep track of who is healthy and who is injured. Just this past Sunday I found myself scanning every number on a black jersey on every play just to see who is playing and who is not. Imagine my shock when I couldn’t find Darrius Heyward-Bey and Kevin Boss…but that is another story.
The story for this shortened week is how many men will be missing in action for Thursday’s clash with San Diego.
What is not surprising is how thin the Raiders are in the secondary no thanks to injury. That was a problem JBB saw coming from a mile away. What is surprising is that it has taken this long for injuries to affect the offensive line.
Usually you’d expect the big guys up front to be banged up after week one. That the Raiders have gone halfway through the season with the same starters on the O-line is amazing. But like all good things, that looks likely to come to and end tomorrow.
Samson Satele went out with a knee injury on Sunday leaving Stefen Wisniewski to slide down to his rightful spot at center. To compensate for the loss of Satele rookie Joe Barksdale will get the nod at guard if Samson is unable to play.
But the injury woes for the O-line don’t end with Satele. Khalif Barnes, who has played well at right tackle, is nursing a shoulder injury that could also keep him out of action. Should that be the case Stephon Heyer could get his first start as a Raider which could also create a rare Bruce Campbell sighting.
Overall Oakland’s offensive line has been one of the bigger surprises of the season. This is one unit JBB really whiffed on. I thought the lockout would surely ruin any chance at the O-line forming a formidable chemistry. The coaching staff gets a lot of credit but those men in the trenches share the honor for their commitment to excellence. Hopefully the men asked to step in and play will be just as prepared.