Many fans appear to be overlooking the injury Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams recently sustained. If his most recent lesion does indeed put his 2020 season in jeopardy, the cause for concern should be real.
Williams has had a rough start to his Raiders career dating back to 2019. Initially, the plan was for him to be the number two receiver behind Antonio Brown. Once the Brown acquisition turned sour, Williams was thrust into the top slot. He managed to score early and often at the season’s outset, it was plantar fasciitis that did him in. He still managed to play in 14 games last year, unfortunately, his injuries prevented him from making much of an impact.
Should the Raiders be more concerned than they’re letting on?
Does this mean Williams is expandable or rather, is his injury not that “big of a deal”? On some teams, perhaps, but for the Raiders, they’d be losing the closest thing they have to a number one receiver. After Williams, the wide receiver room is made up of primarily two types of players. First, you have the remarkable, but unproven, rookies such as Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards. Then, the team has veterans that are reliable but ones that won’t all of a sudden become elite pass-catchers. Let’s face it, Nelson Agholor isn’t going to suddenly break the 1,000 receiving yard mark.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock recently shared his thoughts on Williams, “Tyrell is down for whatever period of time, but I think the rest of the guys see it as an opportunity.” Mayock summed it up best when he said “[Williams] will be ready when he’s ready.”
As Mayock alluded to, it is what it is, and the Raiders can only control what’s in front of them. They have Hunter Renfrow who emerged as a tough-as-nails slot receiver and favorite of Derek Carr last year. Williams showed, if healthy, he can be reliable and explosive number one receiver but with the season just days away, this injury couldn’t have had worse timing. Asking the rest of the receivers to see Williams’ injury as an injury is two-fold. More snaps means more playing time for others, by the same token, it could end up showing how inexperienced the receiver corps really is.
In the end, whether Williams comes back 100% healthy or not, youngsters such as Edwards and Ruggs should see it as an opportunity because of the NFL’s “next man up” mentality.
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