Injuries are an inherent part of playing in the NFL. Injuries could strike players even in routine plays, that’s just the nature of the game. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs learned that early in his young career.
Henry Ruggs III can’t do much for the Raiders but wait
The Raiders needed to fix their lack of playmaking prowess at wide receiver this offseason. Drafting Ruggs with the 12th pick overall in this year’s draft was one of the moves to address their woes at the position. The Alabama standout quickly showed he had been worth a first-round pick when he hauled in a 45-yard reception in his NFL debut. Sadly, that was the last big play he would make as he’s been dealing with knee and hamstring injuries since Week 1. Although he started the team’s Week 2 matchup, he sat the last two. He practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, so it’s uncertain whether he will dress up in Week 5.
In the meantime, Ruggs has to trust the process and wait until he’s ready to take the field. Quarterback Derek Carr says that ‘not playing really crushes Ruggs‘. The Raiders signal-caller added that while missing practice doesn’t bother other players, Rugs can’t stand it.
The rest of the WR rookie class is meanwhile thriving
It must be frustrating for Ruggs to know other rookie wideouts are thriving while he gets to sit. Justin Jefferson currently leads all first-year wide receivers with 16 catches for 348 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, fellow Alabama alumnus Jerry Jeudy has hauled in 21 yards for 309 yards and two touchdowns with the Denver Broncos. Not to be outdone, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. has caught 16 yards for 191 yards and a touchdown while Pittsburgh Steelers’ Chase Claypool has come down with six passes for a whooping 25.2 yards-per-catch average.
There’s not honestly much the Raiders can do at this point. They could rush Ruggs on the field, but he would run the risk of getting injured again. The best course of action for them is to be patient and let Ruggs heal. Once he does, he can resume playing and pick up where he left off.
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Top Photo: John Locher/Associated Press