There is nothing fun about seeing NFL players getting hurt. The same remains true for Tyrell Williams, who recently injured his shoulder and is out for the season. The Las Vegas Raiders have to move on without the veteran receiver on their roster, but the addition of two rookies will help ease Williams’ absence.
Tyrell Williams’ tenure with the Raiders hasn’t been very fruitful
The Raiders gave Williams a four-year $44 million contract in 2019 to become a key cog in their offense. After fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown imploded, Williams became the No. 1 player at the position. Although he started last season strong, plantar fasciitis would hinder him much of the year. He scored four touchdowns in the first four games of the season, but only two more for the rest of the year.
Heading into the 2020 season, Williams seemed healthy and ready to contribute. The receiver was having a solid camp when he suddenly had a torn labrum in his shoulder. While he could have played in spite of the injury, the Raiders decided it was in his best interest to undergo surgery later in September. In order for that to happen, the Silver and Black placed the receiver on the Injury Reserve list. That means his season is over and maybe his tenure with the team as well.
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A couple of rookie receivers will help alleviate Williams’ absence
We will discuss Williams’ future with the Raiders in a later article. For now, let’s focus on what’s next for the team and a plan of action to make up for the receiver’s injury. Rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards should have no problems stepping up in Williams’ place. The fact the South Carolina standout had a great camp is one of the worst-kept secrets. Even if he goes through the usual growing pains that come with being a rookie, he has the tools to thrive in the NFL.
Henry Ruggs III is going to tentatively start and sophomore Hunter Renfrow should pick off where he left off last season. The Raiders currently have plenty of depth at wide receiver so they can do without Williams. They also have veteran Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones is entering his first full season with the team. William’s injury is one the Silver and Black can adjust to due to the options they have at the position.
In his latest press conference, Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson spoke about Williams’ injury. He says “it hasn’t affected much” and likes what Ruggs and Edwards bring to the table.
“Both of those players have done a great job integrating themselves in our offense. They’re both extremely intelligent so we’ve been able to move both of them around. Sometimes, you’ll see Henry at the single receiver position, sometimes it will be in the slot. Same thing, vice versa with Bryan. We’re just happy with the way those rookies have come along.”
NFL teams can’t feel pity for themselves and complain about the injuries they sustain. Olson sounds pretty confident Ruggs and Edwards can make up for Williams’ injury and even provide an upgrade. While it’s too early to know if the Raiders rookie wide receivers will succeed, Olson’s comments should help dispel any concerns that may arise.
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Top Photo: Doug McShooler/Associated Press Photo