The NFL season hasn’t started yet but the Las Vegas Raiders could already be dealing with injury issues which would affect their Week 1 lineup.
The Raiders are in a peculiar position when it comes to wide receiver. They’re certainly in better shape on paper in 2020 though. On one hand, they have a plethora of youngsters who have so much talent and who by all accounts, impressed in training camp. In particular, rookie Bryan Edwards appears to have been an absolute steal. However, we should reserve judgment until the season starts. Then there’s a flip side, they also have returning talent that should play a big role this year, particularly, Tyrell Williams.
Unfortunately, Williams already got hurt with a torn labrum before the season started. Even though there’s time before Week 1 gets here, It’s obvious Williams won’t be 100% by then. If that’s the case, head coach Jon Gruden might start Edwards right out of the gate.
Would The Raiders Be Better Off With Edwards as WR2?
In his training camp observations, Tashan Reed of The Athletic pointed out that Edwards has been the talk of the town in camp. While Gruden has done his best to keep the attention at bay, Reed points out the coach “can’t hide Bryan Edwards any longer.”
“There were questions about whether he could push Tyrell Williams even before it came out earlier this week that Williams had suffered a torn labrum. Williams plans to play through the injury, but Edwards has stepped up as the starter at “X” receiver in the meantime. Edwards has been a handful for the secondary with his powerful frame, fluid route running, surprising speed and sure hands.”
No one should lose their job due to injury but that’s a part of playing in the NFL. Williams isn’t going anywhere so starting Edwards could simply be a way to shore up the starting lineup. Let’s not forget Williams was on fire before plantar fasciitis wrecked his season. It’s safe to say the team counted on him to resume his role prior the injury.
Two Rookie Starters?
Gruden has not revealed much about his plans, so if Edwards has impressed him that much, starting the rookie is an option. Reed goes on to say that even though opponents have no doubt taken notice of Edwards, you wouldn’t know it from Gruden.
“Gruden and Mayock downplay the successes of rookies as often as they can, but it’s hard to believe the Raiders’ opponents for the upcoming season haven’t taken notice of Edwards. There’s a good chance he and fellow rookie wideout Henry Ruggs III are the starting receivers against the Panthers in Week 1.”
Raider Nation is no doubt excited about the team’s prospects in Edwards and of course, Henry Ruggs III. Barring a breakthrough for Williams, the Raiders may start two rookie wide receivers.
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*Top Photo: Travis Bell/South Carolina Athletics