Delanie Walker to Walk All Over the Defense
Regardless of who ends up calling the plays or who starts on defense, the Raiders will struggle to contain Titans veteran tight end Delanie Walker.
Walker, now in his 11th season in the NFL, brought in six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown against a stingy Lions defense. He’s likely licking his chops in preparation for Oakland’s porous defense.
In their loss to the Falcons, the Raiders allowed Atlanta’s top two tight ends (veteran Jacob Tamme and rookie Austin Hooper) to combine for eight receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown.
In response to their abysmal defensive performances in weeks one and two, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. have elected to make some personnel changes on the defensive side of the ball.
Rookie linebacker Cory James will replace second-year linebacker Ben Heeney on the inside, and 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph is expected to split reps with veteran safety Keith McGill alongside Reggie Nelson in the secondary.
Both rookies (James and Joseph) should provide a spark to an otherwise lifeless defense, but Walker still has the edge in this matchup if he suits up.
As Nick Hjeltness here at JustBlogBaby.com mentioned, Walker missed practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday, and again missed practice on Friday with a nagging hamstring injury.
Unfortunately for Oakland, Walker has no intention of watching from the sideline on Sunday.
"“Not a chance. I’m not going to miss a game,” Walker said."
His confidence should have Norton Jr. and company shaking in their boots.