Raiders

Can Raiders Avoid Injury Bug To Their Offensive Stars?

Unfortunately, injuries happen all the time and they’re part of the NFL. That said, are the Las Vegas Raiders in better shape in case the injury bug hits their top offensive stars?

The Raiders had quite the polarizing 2019 season. There were definitely some improvements, but it was still devoid of a playoff spot. Long-term roster-building is key for any sort of sustained level of success as head coach Jon Gruden surely knows. It’s key because injuries can and will happen, it’s part of the game, and the Raiders had their share of those. In particular, the injury bug hit some of their key contributors last season, something that hindered the team.

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Cause For Concern?

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs was an offensive revelation for the Silver and Black in 2019. However, he’s not unbreakable as we saw him go down, missing the team’s final stretch of games. In addition, it was later revealed that he had been playing with a fractured shoulder after Week 7. Jacobs’ rising running style, while appreciated, will mean the Raiders need to have adequate depth. The team brought back Jalen Richard who’s also key in the passing game, along with the drafting of Lynn Bowden Jr.

The Raiders also saw what happened to their wide receiver corps once Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams were hit with the injury bug. Williams started off red hot the 2019 season, scoring a touchdown in the first five games of the year. For Williams, a bad case of plantar fasciitis derailed the rest of his campaign. That must’ve been frustrating because fans saw Williams’ potential in Gruden’s offense. While he may not be Antonio Brown, if healthy, he can be a legitimate scoring threat.

Retooling The Stockpile

Renfrow, the other offensive revelation went through his own injury after facing the New York Jets. Suffering a broken rib and a punctured lung might’ve ended most player’s season. Instead, Renfrow returned and in impressive fashion by totaling 13 catches and 210 receiving yards with two touchdowns in the final two games. Regardless, it proved to be a cautionary tale at how thin the Raiders were at wide receiver. If you take both Williams and Renfrow out completely, it could’ve been disastrous last year. General manager Mike Mayock made sure this wasn’t the case, opting to retool the entire corps by drawing Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, and singing Nelson Agholor.

Injuries will happen but at least in 2020, it would appear the Raiders are in good shape having added crucial depth to two key positions.

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*Top Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

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