By far the biggest setback for the Oakland Raiders this season has been the placement of colossal left tackle Jared Veldheer on partial injured reserve. Veldheer is recovering from a partial tear to his one of his triceps suffered during training camp. Although he went on to get it surgically repaired, he may return later than expected.
It would be a miracle if he returned after the Raiders’ Week 7 bye, but things aren’t looking up. His injury was the first of a long list of injuries to the Raiders starting protection unit. Without a doubt the best offensive lineman for the Raiders, this guy can flat out play. He walks around on a 6-foot-8, 321-pound frame and makes things almost impossible for pass rushers coming off the quarterback’s blind side.
Veldheer showed elite ability last season, keeping pass rushers like Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali and Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen from having sacks against the Raiders as well as showing true potential in run blocking. In his first career start, he helped the Raiders to 190 rushing yards.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor needs protection, especially after the Raiders gave up 10 sacks to the Chiefs on Sunday. Pryor has shown that he is very effective when he’s not forced to run for his life. Veldheer will help add the protection that he needs in order for this Raiders offense to be successful.
Entering his contract year, Veldheer needs to get on the field and perform in order to help this Raiders organization win games. The Raiders’ biggest problem is injuries to their players that will provide them the best opportunity to win.