It was largely assumed that Dennis Allen was playing a secretive ploy concerning Menelik Watson’s injury status after the second round pick at left tackle went down before Week One with what was reported as a tweaked knee. Usually only keeping his cards to his vest when it is actually a big deal, we assumed Watson was missing more than just Week One, especially after his absence from practice this week. Thursday morning we found out the worst, that Watson had surgery, but the injury, and the timetable for return, is in the end not the end of the world.
It is being reported by ESPN that Menelik’s “tweak” was actually a tear to his lateral meniscus ligament. The report also informed us that Watson has already underwent surgery and will only be out for a month. Much better than a torn ACL which obviously would have shut Watson down for the year.
Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie will likely be gutted that their opportunity to play Menelik Watson at left tackle in Jared Veldheer’s place for the opening eight or so games of 2013 now appears to be closing. The ability to give Watson experience playing the most valuable piece of real estate on the line was a silver lining for the Raiders who are really missing their franchise O-Lineman these days.
It seems the Raiders have no choice but to move on with Khalif Barnes filling in at left tackle with Tony Pashos playing on the right side. It isn’t the most ideal of partnerships and Barnes looked like he was still getting used to playing on the much more demanding left side of the line, but Pashos had a strong effort in his first game and it appears that it will do for now. It will have to as Oakland is out of options and can’t afford another injury to an offensive line that is maxed out on quick fixes.