When the Oakland Raiders initially kicked off spring football activities, I was one of the biggest fans of rookie running back Latavius Murray. With a ridiculous size/speed combination and a questionable situation at the top of the depth chart, I even went out on a limb and predicted that he would lead the Raiders in rushing yards.
Shame on me.
Instead, Murray is headed for Injured Reserve due to an ankle injury that has kept the 2012 sixth-round pick off the field for the majority of the Raiders’ summer action.
After missing most of training camp, Murray made his NFL debut in the Raiders’ preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He picked up 29 yards on eight carries (3.6 yards per carry) and forced one missed tackle, but failed to bridge the gap between himself and backup running back Rashad Jennings.
From there, though, things didn’t get any better for Murray.
The rookie struggled to get back on the practice field after his debut and was called out by Raiders head coach Dennis Allen for his poor attitude. Eventually, Murray had his ankle scoped on August 20 in what seemed like a serious case of bad luck for him and the team. With his placement on the IR on Tuesday, Murray’s once-promising first season has come to an end before it even began.
The Raiders will be hoping that a full year of recuperation and learning can bring out the best in Murray, who possesses plenty of raw potential. For now, though, it’s a big disappointment for a young ball-carrier who looked primed to make a significant impact this season in Oakland.
Here’s to hoping that Darren McFadden can stay healthy for at least half of the Raiders’ 2013 campaign.