Playoff Push Down The Stretch Will Hinge On Raiders Health

The overall health of the Las Vegas Raiders will determine if they can make a serious run at the postseason. So far, the injury bug has been relentless with the Silver and Black.

All NFL teams deal with injuries every year, there’s nothing new about that. By the same token, it seems the Raiders seem to be unable to get the roster fully healthy all at once. Just as one key player returns, another one goes down. Don’t misconstrue this as an excuse for head coach Jon Gruden’s squad. Quite the opposite, Gruden has navigated the injury bug quite well and it doesn’t hurt that offensive line coach Tom Cable has done an excellent job too.

With the season getting into the cold months, we’re starting to see who’s serious about the playoffs. The 5-3 Raiders are definitely in the mix, but it would serve them well to get everyone back healthy. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, that is easier said than done.

Related: Raiders Explosive Running Game in Week 9 Leads The Way

What Injuries Should Concern The Raiders Moving Forward?

On Sunday, the Silver and Black were without tackle Kolton Miller and guard John Simpson along the offensive line. This is on top of Trent Brown and Richie Incognito, and yet, the team still won. So as I mentioned earlier, Cable deserves a lot of credit for keeping this unit stable and doing the best with what’s available.

The other injury that gave Raider Nation a scare was that of fullback Alec Ingold. Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News Tweeted out that Ingold sustained a rib injury and that Gruden is ‘concerned.’ It goes without saying that if Gruden is concerned, he will play it safe with Ingold moving forward. The explosive fullback is a key component of the running game and by effect, missing him would be huge for the Raiders offense. Thankfully, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal Tweeted out some good news.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Raiders, rookie cornerback Damon Arnette will soon be back on the field. The defensive backfield will finally look the way the team projected before the season.

As the team plays through the cold months into January, the roster will only go as far as its health will let them. Yes, the Raiders have momentum on their side as they continue their AFC West trek, but for how long can they maintain this with so players banged up? More importantly, who will go down as some of the aforementioned players come back? Raider Nation can only hope the injury bug gives the Silver and Black a break at some point in 2020.

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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Ron Schwane

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