One look at the Oakland Raiders‘ injury report and it’s clear they’ll be in trouble on Sunday.
The Raiders have four players listed as out – Mike Goodson, Darren McFadden, Richard Seymour, and Shawntae Spencer. The last one shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the first three have been key cogs for Oakland all season. Not having these three will be a big loss for the Raiders because they were all leaders in their own way.
McFadden was clearly the most heralded running back on the team and was a reliable weapon for Carson Palmer out of the backfield. He had all the talent to be a difference maker for the Raiders and to not have his talent means the gameplan will be even more centered around Palmer. When you combine this with not having Goodson, it means Taiwan Jones and the wide receivers must rise to the occasion. It also puts a lot of pressure on the return game, where Goodson excelled.
Losing Seymour makes an already shaky Oakland run defense even shakier. He was a major force for offensive lines to deal with in the middle and he ate up defenders for other players to make stops. The pressure now falls on Tommy Kelly to pick up the slack and for Matt Shaughnessy to have one of his best games of the season. The defensive line will have some big shoes to fill and you can expect Ray Rice to try and exploit the gap in the middle to his advantage.
The only good news for Oakland is that Khalif Barnes is questionable after being out since Week 2.