The Oakland Raiders were on a serious high after hitting the field at home in week three of the NFL season, and taking down the Pittsburgh Steelers. That high quickly deteriorated the next week when the Denver Broncos came out and destroyed them 37-6, but that can be in part due to the gigantic injury list the Raiders are dealing with.

hayward Oakland Raiders Need This Bye Week More Than Anyone

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This bye week could not have come at a more opportune time for the silver and black because they are just outright suffering.

One of the biggest problems that was facing the Raiders was the concussion and neck issues of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. After taking a huge hit a few weeks ago, Heyward-Bey was returning to practice, but was kept out of the game in Denver for precautionary measures. Concussions are nothing to fool around with, and the week off allowed him to rest his head and get back straight.

It was overly obvious that Heyward-Bey‘s presence on the field was missed too as Carson Palmer‘s main targets became Denarius Moore (71 yards receiving) and Marcel Reece (54 yards). Mind you, Reece is a fullback.

Sebastian Janikowski’s groin injury was something to be concerned with, but he ended up hitting both field goals against the Broncos. The week off will also allow him to rest his leg muscles and return to full strength next week against Atlanta.

Perhaps it was just a dominating performance by the Broncos defense, but it could also be the minor injuries to two Oakland running backs that caused for such a dismal offensive output. Darren McFadden (shoulder) and Mike Goodson (hamstring) rushed only 16 times combined for a mere 56 yards.

There needs to be more out of the ground game for the Raiders in order to allow Palmer the option to pass or hand off the ball. One has to think though that the injuries to both McFadden and Goodson were a bit more serious than originally let on.

A bye week with the extra rest was needed at this point for Oakland, and it seems as if most of their injuries could be healed up by the time they travel to Atlanta on Oct. 14, 2012.

Two things they really have to hope happen though are the returns of Heyward-Bey and cornerback Shawntae Spencer. It was already obvious that Heyward-Bey was missed, but Spencer’s presence on the defensive side of the ball was needed in a big way.

Peyton Manning ended up passing for 338 yards and three touchdowns while only throwing eight incomplete passes the entire game. If Spencer is missing in action when they face Matt Ryan and the Falcons, it could be another long day for the Raiders‘ secondary.

Oakland Raiders Injury Report from Week Four:


  • TE David Ausberry – Shoulder
  • DB Michael Huff – Knee
  • K Sebastian Janikowski – Left Groin
  • DT Tommy Kelly – Knee
  • RB Darren McFadden – Shoulder
  • OL Alex Parson – Shoulder
  • DT Richard Seymour – Knee


  • RB Mike Goodson – Hamstring
  • TE Brandon Myers – Concussion
  • WR Rod Streeter – Eye/Neck



  • T Khalif Barnes – Groin
  • TE Richard Gordon – Hamstring
  • CB Shawntae Spencer – Foot

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on


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