By Shawn S. Lealos
The Oakland Raiders have struggled with injuries all season long, and their defensive backfield has been decimated by numerous ailments. Heading into the Raiders’ upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills, Oakland is still shorthanded in the secondary, but now their linebacker corps has also taken a huge hit. There are few players on the Oakland defense that can stop anybody right now, even a team like the Buffalo Bills. Here is a look at the Oakland Raiders’ injury report for their eighth game of the 2017 NFL season.
Marshawn Lynch will not suit up
While he is not listed on their injury report, Marshawn Lynch will not suit up and play this weekend when the Oakland Raiders take on the Buffalo Bills. This is because the NFL has suspended Lynch for physically touching two officials last week after a late hit on his quarterback Derek Carr. Lynch was not coming out to take up for Carr; instead, he was trying to protect his friend from the Kansas City Chiefs. With Lynch out of the lineup, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will split reps at the starting running back position. The good news is that fullback Jamize Olawale is off the Raiders’ injured list for the first time in weeks.
The Linebacker Woes
There has been a lot of talk the last few weeks about the cornerback and safety injuries that decimated the Oakland Raiders secondary. However, while they are still struggling to get those players back on the field and will be missing two cornerbacks as well as safety Karl Joseph (groin) this weekend, they are now looking at a rash of injuries to their middle line of defense in the linebackers corp. Both starting weakside linebacker Cory James (knee) and his backup Nicholas Morrow (ankle) are listed as questionable for the Bills game. If both players miss the game, the Raiders will have to move someone over to start in that position; if one of them is gone, the depth is still not there.
One player to watch in this situation, especially if Karl Joseph has to sit out, is rookie Shalom Luani, a player who had a great preseason but hasn’t played hardly at all in the regular season. There is a great chance that Luani will earn the first start of his NFL career and this could be a huge chance for him to prove himself in Oakland.
Marquette King added to the injury report
The Oakland Raiders special teams have played well this season, although rookie kicker Giorgio Tavecchio has missed a pair of field goals and an extra point after opening the season as the Special Teams Player of the Week. However, one Raiders player who has been solid all season long is punter Marquette King. While he looked good most of the week, King was added to the injury report on Thursday with a groin problem. He didn’t practice on Thursday and was limited on Friday. This season, King has punted the ball 30 times for an eye-popping average of 52.3 yards per kick and has put the ball inside the 20 on 14 of his 30 punts. If King is limited or out on Sunday, that is a monster loss for the Raiders.
Oakland Raiders Injury Report
- Marquette King (P) – groin – limited
- Nicholas Morrow (LB) – ankle – limited
- Marshall Newhouse (T) – foot – limited
- Cory James (LB) – knee – limited
- Marquel Lee (LB) – ankle – limited
- Karl Joseph (S) – groin – did not practice
- David Amerson (CB) – foot – did not practice
- Gareon Conley (CB) – shin – did not practice