By Shawn Lealos
The Oakland Raiders have won two consecutive games and pulled into a tie for first place in the AFC West. This week’s game will go a long way when it comes to determining whether the Raiders can make the playoffs this year. This week’s game is against the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the two teams that sit tied atop the AFC West. If the Raiders beat the Chiefs, they will move one step closer to the divisional title with a season-ending meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers still to come. However, the Raiders’ injury list has grown extensively this week.
Amari Cooper Still Injured
Last week, when the Oakland Raiders met up with the New York Giants, they were without both of their starting wide receivers. Amari Cooper was out with an ankle injury and Michael Crabtree was serving a one-game suspension for fighting.The Raiders excelled against the weak Giants defense with Cordarrelle Patterson, Seth Roberts and Johnny Holton stepping up. Patterson was listed as questionable last week, but led the team in receiving yards.
This week, Patterson is still questionable but should play. Cooper is also questionable, but his chance of playing is up in the air. Head coach Jack Del Rio said that he is showing “gradual improvement,” but he remains a game-time decision. Last time the Raiders played the Chiefs, Cooper caught 11 balls for 201 yards and two touchdowns, so it would be nice to get him back for this rematch.
Raiders Defense Still Limited
The Oakland Raiders will play the Kansas City Chiefs without two of their starting defensive stars and may still be without two others. Defensive end Jihad Ward will likely miss his ninth game in a row, but the Raiders have watched Khalil Mack heat up lately, so it won’t hurt the team that much. However, the fact that starting linebacker Cory James is still injured really deflates some of the help in the middle. James missed last week’s game and he also missed practice all week with his knee injury. It looks like Nicholas Morrow will start in his place. Last week against the Giants, Morrow recorded nine tackles against the Giants.
In the secondary, David Amerson remains on the questionable list. Amerson hasn’t played since Oct. 19 – the last time the Raiders played the Chiefs. He looked almost ready to return two weeks ago but has still failed to make it into the field in a game. Amerson is practicing again but there is no word on whether or not he will finally return to in-game action this week.
Oakland Raiders Injury Report
- David Amerson (CB) – foot, limited practice
- Denico Autry (DL) – hand, limited practice
- Amari Cooper (WR) – ankle, limited practice
- Jamize Olawale (FB/RB) – ankle, limited practice
- Cordarrelle Patterson (WR) – hip, limited practice
- Cory James (LB) – knee, did not practice
- Jihad Ward (DE) – foot, did not practice
- Jon Feliciano (OL) – concussion, did not practice