With less than 24 hours left until the Oakland Raiders tangle with the Denver Broncos, the official injury report is out. Once again, there are a few well-known names on the Raiders’ list. Oakland has been banged up for most of the year and this week is no different.
The biggest name on the list is the player who took the nastiest hit last week. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has been ruled out of Sunday’s contest after getting leveled in the end zone and getting concussed against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was unable to practice at all this week, so he will not be available on Sunday. Derek Hagan will step up to start as the number one wideout, but losing a player like Heyward-Bey is never easy.
Khalif Barnes is also out this week after missing last week with his groin injury. The tackle did not practice at all this week, but the Raiders had one of its best games from their offensive line against Pittsburgh. Barnes is still a starting right tackle in the NFL so not having him hurts Oakland, but the Raiders should be okay without him if they can control the line of scrimmage like they did last week.
One of the most concerning positions for the Raiders is tight end where both the starter and backup appear as questionable or worse on the injury report. Brandon Myers, who has been a key weapon in the passing game, is questionable this week with a concussion.
The good news is that Myers has been practicing all week in a limited capacity meaning he should play. However, if he can’t go, the pressure falls on third-string David Ausberry because backup Richard Gordon is out Sunday with a hamstring injury.
The final man to talk about is Shawntae Spencer who is once again out with a foot injury. The starting cornerback missed last week’s game against the Steelers and the secondary struggled. Having one of your top defensive backs playing is crucial to fixing the situation, but Oakland will need to find a way to fix the secondary without one of its top corners.