Oakland Raiders MLB Nick Roach May Sit Second Straight Season


Oakland Raiders starting middle linebacker Nick Roach’s battle with concussions took his entire 2014 season away from him, sidelining the player who took the highest number of snaps of any Raiders player during his first year with the team during the 2013 season. Roach, a former Chicago Bears talent, instead tried to heal his brain injuries the best you can, attempting to recover from what is serious post-concussion syndrome issues.

Roach was and is hoping to sit out 2014 to heal himself enough to return to football as he feels he has years left in his career at just 29 years old, but the linebacker’s return to football may still be complicated as there are whispers that Roach will still have a long way to go in his recovery process if he is to ever return to his playing career.

According to insider Vic Tafur, Roach is still experiencing headaches that go with post-concussion syndrome and could sit another season should the medical staff deem him not fit to play football. Something that has the Raiders in need of a veteran middle linebacker as the team leaned heavily on Roach when he was healthy before forcing Miles Burris into Roach’s role to little success in 2014 once the news that their starter would be sidelined for the year came back in the early stages of the 2014 season.

Tafur asked McKenzie of Roach’s status on Wednesday with the Raiders general manager making it clear that the decision is up to Roach and the medical doctors, but that there is a team need at the position as the status of their starter is still up in the air for 2015 with serious head injuries still weighing heavily on his status.

According to Tafur, Roach has declined to talk about his recovery status, something that may indicate that things are more negative than positive based on speculation, but the linebacker has still been working out at the Raiders facility trying to prepare for the 2015 season if he ends up being medically fit to return to football.

The situation with Roach is a difficult and sad one as the middle linebacker still has the talent along with the athletic ability to keep playing for the Raiders, but his concussion problems may not allow him to come back in 2015 or ever again. If that is the case it would be a sad end to a promising career that looked as if it was on the rise after Roach earned his biggest role in the NFL in Oakland after moving from Chicago before his 2014 came to an abrupt end in what was expected to be his second full season with the Raiders.

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Expect Reggie McKenzie to be pursuing other options once free agency begins as well as at the combine, where the Raiders will be looking for a middle linebacker they can build around for the future, one they likely could find outside of the first round to pair up with their already talented young core of outside linebackers they acquired through the past two drafts. A prospect at middle linebacker to pair up with Khalil Mack and Sio Moore being a potential route in preparing for life without Roach for another season.

Roach still could come back if his post-concussion syndrome turns for the better, but already missing a full season and reportedly still experiencing complications is a bad sign for the future of the middle linebacker. Even if he is medically cleared, Roach faces a big question in if he even wants to risk the same issue happening again with his health after football to think about. At 29 it is likely that Roach wants to return to the field if possible, but there is a growing worry that he will not be able to anytime soon, if ever as serious concussion complications continue to weigh on Roach’s medical status going into the new year.