Heading into their preseason debut on Friday against the Minnesota Vikings the Oakland Raiders have found themselves stung by the injury bug significantly for the first time since the team found out that DJ Hayden would be inactive for 2014 Training Camp when it was discovered that veteran tight end David Ausberry would be sidelined due to a knee injury.
Head coach Dennis Allen confirmed to the media that Ausberry will be undergoing a procedure on his knee and will be missing time this August, expecting the tight end to return at some point during the 2014 season.
First casualty of camp — knee procedure for TE David Ausberry. Dennis Allen expects to get him back, doesn’t know when.
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) August 6, 2014
#Raiders TE David Ausberry having “procedure” on knee tomorrow, per coach Dennis Allen.
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 6, 2014
Dennis Allen said TE David Ausberry will have a procedure tomorrow on his knee, “will miss some time.” #Raiders
— Raiders Beat (@RaidersBeat) August 6, 2014
Ausberry’s knee injury should free up playing time for several young Raiders at the tight end position, notably Utah UDFA Jake Murphy who has been spoken of as a player with potential despite slipping through the draft this spring. 2013 rookie Nick Kasa has been injured during training camp and is still trying to learn the position after playing defensive line during the bulk of his career at Colorado, speaking to how thin the Raiders are at tight end in terms of experience even before Ausberry went down. With the pressure now on promising Mychal Rivera to fill all of the production at the tight end position in Ausberry’s absence, expect a potential trip to the waiver wire for general manager Reggie McKenzie to address the need for depth at the tight end position even if it may be too late to get a dependable veteran option.