Oakland Raiders may once again have to shuffle the offensive line
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders will face a tough opponent in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions, and they once again may have to shuffle the offensive line.
In Week 8, the Oakland Raiders finally had their starting offensive line together, as Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Trent Brown, Kolton Miller, and Gabe Jackson all took the field as one unit. Unfortunately, the reunion did not last for long, as a key piece to the puzzle got injured, and had to be replaced early on.
In fact, the starting offensive line played together for only ten snaps on Sunday, the first time the entire unit has been at full strength all season long. Rodney Hudson, who had been dealing with an ankle injury, had to leave the game, giving rookie Andre James a chance to play in his place.
While Hudson is one of the best in the business, James definitely handled his own, and for the third straight game, Derek Carr was not sacked. On Wednesday, it was announced that James also suffered an ankle injury, and the odds are he will be out for the Week 9 matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Hudson has yet to rule himself out for Sunday, and that is something that will be monitored the rest of the week. In his place, veteran guard Richie Incognito could be in line to start, and he welcomed that challenge on Wednesday.
Incognito has been one of the best free agents signings this season for the Raiders, as he has become a force in what has since been called “Carr Insurance.” He and fellow newcomer Trent Brown have been elite at their positions in 2019, giving Carr the protection he lacked last season, when he was sacked over 50 times.
Whether it has been Jackson’s injury, Brown missing a game, or now Hudson possibly being out, this Raiders offensive line has taken on a new form every week. However, they have not lost their production, which is a testament to the job Tom Cable has doing this season.
No matter who is at center this Sunday, the odds are the Raiders are going to get solid protection up front, as we have seen all season long. This organization made a concerted effort to get better along the offensive line since Gruden arrived, and Carr and company are reaping the benefits of that this season.