Oakland Raiders would be wise to minimize established starters time

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /

There are two preseason games remaining for the Oakland Raiders, but they would be wise to minimize how much we see of the established starters.

Through their first two preseason games, the Oakland Raiders have been impressive, showing off the vast improvements in talent they brought in this offseason. In Game No. 1, they held the Los Angeles Rams to only three points, before getting out to a 26-0 lead against the Arizona Cardinals in Game No. 2.

While we did not see quarterback Derek Carr at all during the first game, he did play the first series for Oakland last Thursday against the Cardinals. He looked to be in full command of the offense in Year 2 with Jon Gruden as his head coach, leading the team down easily for a touchdown.

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs, seeing his first NFL action, ran the ball very well, and Carr hit new deep threat Tyrell Williams for a long completion. The drive culminated with Carr hitting Ryan Grant for a 13-yard touchdown, a play that ended Carr’s day, and possibly his preseason.

Speaking with the media on Saturday, Gruden stated that his established starters may be done for the preseason, which is not the worst thing. In recent days, AFC West rival Los Angeles has seen wide receiver Keenan Allen and safety Derwin James go down due to injury, two injuries that could seriously derail their season.

After seeing so many players go down to injury this preseason, it would make sense that Gruden would protect those players who have already established themselves as starters. In addition,  there is a ton of depth on this team this summer, and those on the fence of making this team could use the improved amount of reps.

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Outside of the injury to Gabe Jackson, this has been a pretty solid training camp for the Raiders, and they have looked good on both sides of the ball in their first two preseason games. The offense and defense were clicking in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals against their first team, and that could end up being the last extended look we see of the unit as a whole until Week 1.