By JL Herrera
The Oakland Raiders were plagued with injuries during training camp. Receivers, cornerbacks and offensive linemen were constantly out, and some of these guys missed preseason games. Well, things are almost back to normal, and the Raiders should be ready on Sunday to play in Indianapolis against the Colts.
But there is one player that is not going to take the field against the Colts. Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who is a vital player for the Silver and Black, will not be showing his face, as he is listed out. In fact, many are speculating that he may be out for the whole season.
Veldheer injured one of this triceps during practice during the preseason. He had to get surgery done, and the Raiders put him in the injured list.
Jared Veldheer was pretty much the only left tackle the Oakland Raiders had, so his role was very important in giving the quarterback coverage. The Raiders are already hurting in that department, so this injury was big.
The substitute during the preseason was Menelik Watson, who only had experience as a right tackle. He did a decent job, even though he went up against a tough Seattle Seahawks defensive line in his first game as left tackle last Thursday.
Well, bad news. Menelik Watson injured his knee on Wednesday as addressed by Coach Dennis Allen after practice. Watson was limited at practice and no report was made if he will be playing or be out for Sunday.
The other substitute could be newly signed Tony Pashos, who was picked up from the waivers a few days ago. Pashos, like Watson, is a right tackle but has an advantage of having many years of experience. If Watson is ruled out, Tony Pashos will most likely step in.
Still, the Oakland Raiders’ game will be affected since the left tackle will be someone who is still learning the position. Knowing this, it would be wise to play Terrelle Pryor, since the kid has elusive abilities.
Quarterback Matt Flynn has been ruled out, according to the press, for the first week due to a sore right elbow; however, Coach Allen stated after Wednesday’s practice that he has not chosen a starting quarterback yet. What! Allen chose to be ambiguous about the matter.
Most will agree that it would be wise to start Pryor since Pryor is more elusive and can compensate for the week side of having a new left tackle starting this Sunday.
Sebastian Janikowski did not practice, but he will play on Sunday as announced on Wednesday by the coach. It’s good to know that the leading scorer of all-time for the Oakland Raiders will be participating on Sunday.
As for tight end David Ausberry, Allen said the he will not make a decision on him yet. Though, Allen did mention that the tight end is not ready yet.
In the end, Coach Dennis Allen’s main concern is the left tackle. That is the key position to sub if Watson is not going to play.
Also, no specific statuses were released by the Raiders on their injury report. The status of each player will not be released until later this week, by Friday or even Saturday, according to Coach Allen.
For more news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.