It’s a short week for the Oakland Raiders. They had three limited practices ahead of tomorrow night’s AFC West showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs. However, the news surrounding the team has grown more frantic by the minute, especially after Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
With a lot of injuries and some new additions to cover, it’s time for the Week 7 edition of the Raiders Wednesday Update.
Two Starters Ruled Out for Thursday Night
The Raiders roster has become a quasi MASH unit as of late with all these injuries. It’s thankfully slowed down somewhat for this week, but not everyone will be available for tomorrow.
Right tackle Marshall Newhouse and cornerback Gareon Conley have both been declared out with a foot and shin injury, respectively. Newhouse hurt himself early on against the Chargers, but only missed one play. Vadal Alexander will take his spot in the lineup.
Conley, meanwhile, has played in just two games this season, and it’s fair to wonder if his shin will be able to heal up before the end of the season. The Raiders secondary would certainly welcome him back.
Other Injuries: Four Questionable
The short practice week makes it difficult to judge whether any player listed as questionable can suit up or not, so take these injuries with a grain of salt. Linebackers Cory James (knee), Nicholas Morrow and Marquel Lee (both ankle) all fit this description, along with fullback Jamize Olawale (concussion).
Lee and Olawale were both out last Sunday, while James played limited snaps after getting hurt the week before. Morrow suffered his injury midway through the game. All of a sudden, the Raiders are spread thin for linebackers. With that in mind…
Bowman Expected to Play on Thursday
A change needed to be on defense, and Navorro Bowman could help facilitate that. The Raiders signed him on Monday for the rest of the season, and head coach Jack Del Rio has already confirmed that Bowman will be available to play tomorrow.
It’d be a tough task to have a player start on such short notice, so Bowman may rotate in with the rest of the active linebackers so he can ease his way in, though the only other healthy LB is Xavier Woodson-Luster. We’ll see if he’s ready to lead the defense.
Hamilton to IR, Calhoun Promoted
The day before the Chargers game, the Raiders placed cornerback Antonio Hamilton on injured reserve with a knee injury. He’s expected to have arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage. Hamilton was mostly a special teamer, but with him gone, the secondary remains as thin as ever.
The team elevated linebacker Shilique Calhoun to take his place. Calhoun was a third-round pick last year but got cut at the end of the preseason due to his lackluster performance on the field. The Raiders were playing dangerously with their outside LB position (James Cowser was the lone backup to Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin), so that group is strengthened somewhat. Perhaps Calhoun can save his career with this second chance.