Oakland Raiders injuries piling up at key spots

By Josh Walfish

The first glance at the injury report released by the Oakland Raiders were show there are a lot of names on the list. However, only three players are listed as doubtful or out, which bodes well. On the other hand, is having 16 names on an injury report a good thing? For the Raiders, most of the injuries listed are not worrisome and the players will play, but the number of injuries at crucial positions is frightening.

Let’s start at right tackle where Willie Smith will get the start. The backup listed on the depth chart is Khalif Barnes, who is still out with a groin injury. The most troubling thing is Smith is listed as probable with an ankle injury and was limited in practice twice this week. Smith will be able to go, but an ankle injury is a tricky beast to deal with and one wrong step will force Oakland to find someone else to protect Carson Palmer. Now injuries are always unpredictable in the NFL, but having a lingering issue only increases the chance of getting hurt.

The injuries in the secondary have been written about at nauseum, but Shawntae Spencerwill miss another game with his foot injury. This is not a big deal considering the Raiders have been dealing with this problem for awhile now, but it never hurts to give a gentle reminder.

The other troublesome spot for Oakland is the linebackers. Only six linebackers are on the roster and three of them are listed on the injury report. Rolando McClain and Travis Goethel both were limited in practice all this week, but both should be able to play Sunday. Keenan Clayton is doubtful after not practicing all week due to a shoulder injury. The depth at linebacker was already thin, so these injuries certainly don’t help.

Every team is banged up this time of year, but the Raiders seem to lump all their injuries into a couple of crucial position groups. Although none of these injuries are too severe to keep players out, the lingering injuries could be troublesome moving forward.

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