When the Oakland Raiders kicked off training camp a couple months ago, it was assumed that David Ausberry would be their starting tight end. Instead, he’s now headed for the Injured Reserve list as his 2013 campaign comes to a premature ending.
Ausberry immediately started turning heads during summer football, putting his impressive hands and athleticism from the tight end spot on display at Raiders training camp. Especially with a lack of experience at the position, Oakland was hoping that the former seventh-round pick could catch on as a staple in the passing game.
During the Raiders’ second preseason game, Ausberry left with a “potentially significant” shoulder injury, walking out of the stadium with his arm in a sling. Oakland held out hope that he would be able to make a timely return to the lineup, but after three regular season games, it appears their patience has run out.
Moving forward, the Raiders will stick with Jeron Mastrud and rookie Mychal Rivera as their top two tight ends. Mastrud has been the main blocker while Rivera has worked as the Raiders’ pass-catching tight end. The two have combined for six receptions and 99 yards on the season.
With Denarius Moore slumping and other young receivers struggling to catch on, the Raiders needed all of the help they could get in the passing game. Now headed for the IR list, Ausberry won’t have the opportunity to make his mark in 2013.
This is just another setback for the talent-deprived Raiders. It looks like they’ll have to wait until 2014 to see what exactly they have in Ausberry.