The Injury Bug has not been an unfamiliar face this NFL Season, especially for the San Francisco 49ers who lost a majority of their star players due to injury. However, this is definitely not an unfamiliar feeling for the Las Vegas Raiders. As of Week Four of the NFL Season, the Raiders have lost most of their star players on offense due to injury. Here’s a quick list of all the injured players.
OT Trent Brown (calf)
WR Tyrell Williams (torn rotator cuff)
OG Richie Incognito (achilles)
WR Henry Ruggs III (ankle/hamstring)
WR Bryan Edwards (ankle)
Now that doesn’t seem like a very long list, and it isn’t, but you have to look at what makes these players some key pieces to the Raiders offense. Trent Brown is arguably one of the best Tackles in the league and was paid dearly for it. He was a key piece to the Raiders very solid offensive line.
Another player that is a key piece to the offensive line is Guard Richie Incognito. Incognito was originally a very controversial signing due to his bad past, however, this storyline soon faded once he started producing on the field. His dominance on the field made him another key piece to the Raiders offensive line.
WRs Tyrell Williams, Henry Ruggs III, and Bryan Edwards are the final key pieces to the Raiders Offense. Tyrell Williams is a signing from the 2019 Oakland Raiders team that had to step up as the team’s starting Wide Receiver after the release of Antonio Brown before the 2019 season. He finished the 2019 season with 42 receptions, 651 yards, and six touchdowns on the year. That’s impressive considering all he had to learn in such little time. He tore his rotator cuff during training camp this past offseason which led him to be placed on Injured Reserve.
The final two are rookie Wide Receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards. Now these two are some of the biggest steals of the draft so far for the Raiders. While Ruggs doesn’t have a lot of catches nor targets, his presence on the field is a huge advantage to the Raiders leaving receivers like Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, Zay Jones, and TE Darren Waller wide open with the secondary focused on the speedy receiver. That hurts the Raiders offense a lot.
Finally, Bryan Edwards had been the Raiders second most underrated player on the team. He’s been gaining major traction recently with being a very solid receiver with only not catching one ball that he was targeted on and averaging 42 yards a game. His help on the field takes the Raiders offense to a new level.
Now time for the defense. The Raiders defense lost a few players in the past weeks with only one looking to return this week so far. For a defense that was in desperate need of help, the Injury Bug doesn’t do them any favors. Here is a look at all the injured players on defense as of Week Four.
LB Nick Kwiatkoski (PEC) *Looks to return Week Four.
CB Damon Arnette (thumb)
DT Daniel Ross (foot)
LB Tanner Muse (toe)
The Defense has not been as injury riddled, however, these players are still solid starters. Nick Kwiatkoski was labeled as the “Mike” Linebacker which means he is making the adjustments that are needed on the field and with the loss of him in week one, the defense then started to struggle. We should start to see an improvement this week since he will likely return.
CB Damon Arnette went into camp with a broken thumb, but he wore a soft cast that allowed him to still play. Arnette was listed as the primary CB and showed out in the games he played. He recently re-injured his thumb in the loss vs the Patriots and will likely be out a month which is a decent loss at CB.
Now DT Daniel Ross and LB Tanner Muse are not as big of a loss since they are not major starters. However, Ross did do a decent job at stopping the run and was one of the few bright spots in the loss last week.
Once these injuries are fixed or someone starts to step up majorly, expect the Las Vegas Raiders to be, once again, in the spotlight as one of the dark horse teams to make an impact in the league for years to come.