Week one has finally wrapped up around the entire league and much like every team, the Las Vegas Raiders are banged up. Heading into a week two match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the silver and black will be without some of their core players.
Right guard Denzel Good is out for the entire season with a torn ACL. Good played 958 snaps last year and received a PFF grade of 56.7, the Raiders were looking for him to be a solid piece on an offensive line that is already unheralded.
Good will be replaced by Jermaine Eluemunor, who has bounced around a few teams in his young NFL career. Eluemunor allowed one pressure and one hit on quarterback Derek Carr; he will now be Carr’s newest starter on the O-Line Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle who was hopeful for a resurgence in his career after missing all of 2020 with the Dallas Cowboys, will now miss all of 2021 with a knee injury. McCoy’s replacement is Damion Square, who played for the Los Angeles Chargers last season and helped generate five pressures and one sack.
Las Vegas still features Jonthathan Hankins at the position who will now probably slide into the starting role next to Quinton Jefferson. A rotation of the interior line will be evident through this season for the Raiders, as Darius Philon and now Square will mix in snaps.
Unfortunate for the Raiders, as the team was high on McCoy’s presence on and off the field as a veteran leader.
Free agent signing Yannick Ngakoue made his Raider debut Monday night but it was short lived. A hamstring injury started to bother the pass rusher, and it is likely Ngakoue will be questionable for Sunday.
These defensive injuries will give former fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell a chance to play on very important downs. That may be off the edge or right up the middle. Ferrell, who was inactive on Monday, may have a chance to help the defense out in week two.
Josh Jacobs is dealing with a potentially serious turf toe and ankle injury. Jacobs, who rushed for two touchdowns for 34 yards off of only 10 carries seemed unable to tap into the physical runner that he is.
With it being early in the season, one may even question whether Head Coach Jon Gruden should put some sort of count on Jacobs facing one of the best defenses in the league. Turf toe is one of the most common lingering injuries, especially for running backs. The only way to get ahead of it is with time to rest.
All of these injuries came in just one game of the vicious marathon known as the NFL season. How the Raiders front office and coaching staff react, will speak volumes on how the team stays healthy on game days, as the old adage in football goes, the best ability is availability.