Injuries struck the Oakland Raiders hard during their loss to the Green Bay Packers last Friday night, while Matt Schaub showed a lackluster arm. However, the starting defense made plenty of good plays despite allowing 22 points in the first half. Some takeaways from the preseason dress rehearsal.
While his pass catchers continue to drop everything thrown, Schaub isn’t helping himself either. Against the Packers he showed little velocity on any of his throws. In the past few days, it has been revealed that Schaub is suffering from tendonitis in his throwing arm, the same ailment Matt Flynn suffered a year ago. This cripples Schaub’s already weak arm. Now rookie Derek Carr might be forced to start sooner than the Raiders planned.
This also assists Matt McGloin’s chances of sticking in Oakland. McGloin showed well in the loss to the Packers, throwing two touchdowns to bring the Raiders to within ten points. If Carr is forced to start, the Raiders will want to keep McGloin on as insurance and possibly use him for some late game heroics that he is becoming known for.
Injuries decimate the defense.
It wasn’t a good night for the Oakland trainers. Sio Moore left the field on a stretcher after a scary hit in the 2nd quarter. He was giving a thumbs up as he left the field, and was later diagnosed with only a neck strain, ruling out any serious injury. Head coach Dennis Allen says he has no timetable to return.
Elsewhere, starting middle linebacker Nick Roach and cornerback Tarell Brown both left with a concussion, but both are not expected to play in the preseason finale so they will get extra healing time.
On offense, starting right tackle Menelik Watson tweaked his hip. After missing most of his rookie year due to injury, its a concern considering the Raiders have little depth at tackle.
Reserve running back Kory Sheets tore his ACL and is out for the year. Sheets was competing for a roster spot after earning the Grey Cup MVP in the CFL.
The good news is that 4th round rookie DT Justin Ellis is back from his concussion suffered two weeks ago. While he won’t be thrust into the rotation, a good game next week against the Seahawks could help him carve out a role as a run stuffer.
Khalil Mack was all over the place against Green Bay. Outside of the first drive, Mack was stout in his run defense, and rushed the quarterback well. His presence in the Raiders pressure package is a major help, as it helped veteren end Lamarr Woodley get his sack.
With the regular season only two weeks away, its promising to see the rookie coming into his form. Here is his every snap vs the Packers.
The preseason does not get any better for the Oakland wideouts.James Jones failed to secure a touchdown from Matt Schaub, while other receivers continues to drop the ball throughout the game.
There are some promising signs. The depth chart seems to be hammering out. James Jones and Rod Streater are the undisputed 1 and 2 at the top. Despite his struggles, Denarius Moore seems to be holding onto the no. 3 job, especially after his 40 yard catch from Schaub.
Greg Little got some first team reps as the 4th receiver, but didn’t make much of the opportunity. He’s still going to have to show up as a special teams gunner to make the team.
After receiving heavy praise throughout the offseason, Andre Holmes has now sunk to the 5th spot on the depth chart, receiving no time with the first team.
Brice Butler showed up well late in the game. Playing against third stringers, Butler caught three passes for 60 yards, two of them going for touchdowns. He is making quite the impression on the coaching staff to stay on the roster.
With DJ Hayden still indefinitely sidelined with a foot injury, it’s looking like Oakland reserve cornerback’s roster chances are looking good. Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Keith McGill, and TJ Carrie are already locks to make the opening roster.
Behind them, Chance Casey and Neiko Thorpe played heavy minutes last week while Brown was out with a concussion. One of them could make a serious push to make the week 1 roster with Hayden likely heading to reserve/PUP, which would keep him sidelined for the first six weeks of the regular season.
Usually the fourth preseason game is strictly for reserves to play for the last roster spots. The Raiders play the Seattle Seahawks on Friday, August 28th at 7pm PT.