The Raiders may have a reasonably long injury report. But it actually carries some silver lining to it. First of all, along with some new injuries, there are other players that are returning from injury.
The new injuries are those suffered by Quentin Groves and Darren McFadden, who are both out with hamstring injuries. Groves is considered “very questionable” for this week’s contest against the Chargers but the Raiders will be fine either way. They will simply move Trevor Scott back to outside linebacker; the position he started at for much of last season.
Scott will not have much depth behind him though because former starter at weak side linebacker, Thomas Howard, is also out with injury. Overall the linebacking corps has lost a few players of late. These losses prompted the Raiders to sign linebacker Bruce Davis Jr from the 49ers practice squad. And if you hadn’t already heard, yes that is the son of former Raider offensive lineman Bruce Davis.
Darren McFadden’s hamstring injuries will probably keep him out the next couple of weeks. But as hamstring injuries go, it is not conidered serious. That alone is good news. The other good news is Michael Bush is back healthy again and he is a more than capable starter. He was actually slated as the starter coming into this season before he went down with injury. He had a good game in releif of McFadden last week with 7 carries for 40 yards and a TD.
Backup running back Michael Bennett is also having some issues with his hamstring. For now the team has Bush and Rock Cartwright with just Marcel Reece at fullback. Cable was asked if he was considering signing another running back, to which he responded “We’ll see.”
Likely returning this week is left guard Robert Gallery. He was spelled by Daniel Loper who played well at times and not so good other times. Gallery is the best offensive lineman this team has. Not only that but he is what we commonly refer to as a “glue guy.” He holds together the left side of that line and makes those around him better. An offensive line more than any other unit on the field, works in cohesion, especially in the zone blocking scheme where guards are pulled in stunts almost constantly. It will be good to have him back when the Raiders face the rival Chargers in Oakland.
A bit of bad news is John Henderson is out 2-5 weeks with a stress fracture in his foot. He didn’t play the last two weeks and was replaced in relief by recently acquired Jay Alford. The same Jay Alford the Raiders just released on Tuesday to sign Bruce Davis Jr. Now instead of being thin at linebacker, the Raiders are thin at defensive tackle. We will wait and see if the team brings back Alford with this latest development or makes another move along the line. As of right now, they have just three defensive tackles in Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant.
There was some fear that Rolando McClain was injured as he was not at practice on Wednesday. But it turns out it he was simply out of town attending to a family issue.
So while the injury report may seem long, there are far worse players that could be on it. As it stands, the Raiders shouldn’t be too affected by the player losses.