The Oakland Raiders are currently sitting at 2-0, heading into a primetime game against the Washington Redskins. There’s plenty of news to mull over before then, however. Here’s the week 3 iteration of the Wednesday Update.
Injury Update: Just Three Sore Spots
The Raiders had three inactives due to injury for last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets: cornerback Sean Smith (neck), safety Keith McGill (foot) and fullback Jamize Olawale (quad). Smith is nominally one of the starters at corner, while McGill and Olawale, key special teams contributors, both missed the first game of the season as well.
Head coach Jack Del Rio expressed optimism that the three will be able to suit up for the Redskins game, though it’s most likely too early to tell. Smith was extremely limited today, only doing warmups and individual drill work. McGill and Olawale got a decent amount of time with the rest of team. Gareon Conley performed admirably versus the Jets in Smith’s place, however.
Mexico City Stadium Examined for Damage Ahead of Raiders Game
The Raiders played a “home” regular season game last year against the Houston Texans in Mexico City, and they are scheduled to do the same in 2017 versus the New England Patriots in November. However, a devastating 7.1 earthquake that struck the city and killed over 200 people threatened those plans.
Early reports from Charles Robinson of Yahoo have indicated that the NFL is already surveying Azteca Stadium to see if it’s still game ready. So far so good on that account, but if further inspections go south, the game may be moved to Oakland. For their part, the Raiders released a statement on the website last night offering their condolences to Mexico City and promising to offer their support.
If you’d like to donate to relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake, check out this New York Times article listing a handful of organizations assisting in recovery efforts.
Two Ex-Raiders Head to Practice Squads
It’s never a bad idea to keep track of where former Raiders players end up, and two recent preseason cuts have found new homes on other teams’ practice squads.
Running back George Atkinson III has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, while wideout Jaydon Mickens is joining the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both could earn active roster spots sooner than later. The Chiefs RB depth chart is thin behind rookie sensation Kareem Hunt, so Atkinson could find himself elevated. The Jaguars have dealt with a few injuries at wideout and aren’t very good anyway, which might give Mickens an opportunity to get some live action reps.
Statistics: Carr, Crabtree, King at the Top of the Leaderboards
Derek Carr has had an excellent start to the 2017 season thus far, and a big part of that has been his completion percentage. He’s only thrown 15 incomplete passes out of a total of 60 through two games, a 75% rate. There are only two qualifying quarterbacks in front of him as of now. Sam Bradford is first at 84.4%, though he only played in week 1. The other is division rival Alex Smith, who is currently at 77.8%. Both are also ahead of Carr for passer ratings; Bradford is at 143.0, Smith is at 134.1 and Carr is at 126.5
Carr is also tied for third in the league with Smith in passing touchdowns with 5. The top two both have close ties to the Raiders QB. Trevor Siemian is another AFC West rival, while Matthew Stafford recently pulled ahead of Carr for the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history. Both have thrown 6 TD passes.
Meanwhile, two Raiders players are #1 in statistical categories going into week 3. Michael Crabtree leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 3, which all came this past Sunday against the Jets. On the special teams side of things, Marquette King has a punting average of 54 yards and a net average of 51.3, both tops in the league.