No Murray, No Problem
What was a three-headed monster in Oakland could be downgraded to dynamic duo against San Diego, as Raiders rookie running backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are expected to share the lead role in wake starter Latavius Murray’s injury.
Murray, who leads the Raiders with 172 rushing yards and three touchdowns, will miss Sunday’s contest with turf toe, per Josh Alper of NBcSports.com.
Behind Murray, Washington and Richard have combined for 40 carries for 291 yards and one touchdown on the ground, and as receivers, the pair has brought in 11 receptions for 76 yards.
Both standing at 5’8” and a little over 200 pounds, Washington and Richard lean on their elite explosiveness and athleticism to burst through running lanes and make people miss in open space.
"“We’re both playmakers, we both do good things and have good strengths,” Washington said, per Michael Wagaman of the Associated Press. “It’s fun to watch him do his thing. It’s kind of just like a tag-team deal. I get in, I do my thing. Just be ready when you’re number is called.”"
Washington, a fifth-round pick out of Texas Tech, will likely hear his number called more often because of his ability as a pass protector, but Richard big-play potential will keep him from spending too much time on the sidelines.
Richard took his first NFL carry 75 yards for a touchdown in route to the Raiders’ comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1.
Though the Chargers do feature the NFL’s seventh ranked rushing offense in terms of average yards per game, the Bolts face possibly their toughest test of the season against Oakland.
Chargers rookie inside linebacker Jatavis Brown, a former Akron product drafted in the fifth-round, has filled in admirably for the injured Te’o, earning the second highest grade on this defense (81.0) behind Hayward.
Brown is tied for the team high in tackles (22) with second-year linebacker Denzel Perryman.
Perryman, on the other hand, missed practice on Thursday and Friday with a shoulder injury. He is officially listed as questionable for Sunday.
With injuries continuing to hurt San Diego within their front seven, the Raiders’ physical, bruising offensive line will torment the Bolts’ big men in the trenches and carry that success to the second level.