By Sam McPherson
As the 0-8 Oakland Raiders prepare to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at home on Sunday, the list of injured players remains the same for the Silver & Black: long and distinguished.
The team has five players who didn’t practice this week, and against the 6-2 Broncos—leaders of the AFC West Division and fighting for a top seed in the conference playoffs—that is not a recipe for success or victory.
Among those five Raiders who have not practiced this week, two are very notable: offensive guard Gabe Jackson and cornerback Carlos Rogers.
As a rookie, Jackson has started and played in all eight games for the Oakland offense this year, and in order for the Raiders to have any chance against the Broncos, they will need to outscore Denver. If Jackson can’t go, it becomes that much harder for Oakland to keep up with Peyton Manning—which is a tall order to begin with, obviously. But Jackson’s knee just may fail him this week.
Rogers also has a knee injury, and it kept him out of last week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Since he hasn’t participated in workouts this week at all, it’s unlikely the veteran CB will be available against the Broncos. That means, of course, it could get very ugly for the Raiders secondary against Manning on Sunday.
Another corner—Chimdi Chekwa—missed last week’s game and hasn’t been able to practice this week, due to a hamstring problem.
Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins played against the Seahawks last week, despite being away from the team for personal reasons during the week. He’s been in the same status this week, but if Thompkins played last week—he had one catch for eight yards against Seattle’s tough secondary—hopefully the Raiders will get him on the field this Sunday, too.
Additionally on offense, tight end David Ausberry still is out with a foot injury.
There is good news, however: Wide receiver Vincent Brown was a full participant in workouts this week, and his hamstring should be healed enough for him to see the field against the Broncos at the Coliseum. He’s been sidelined since Week Five, but even as the fourth WR on the depth chart, Brown still should see some looks from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr this week.
Also, two defensive starters were limited this week in practice, but they should play: cornerback T.J. Carrie—pressed into the lineup to replace Rogers—has an ankle problem and took Wednesday off from workouts. He returned on Thursday, but Carrie still needs to progress as scheduled for another start on Sunday.
Defensive Justin Tuck had four tackles last week against the Seahawks, but he still has a sore knee. Expect him to be on the field against Denver.
No one expects the Raiders to win Sunday, but even being competitive becomes a challenge with so many players hurt. When the Oakland organization sits down at the end of this year to assess what changes are needed for 2015, perhaps they need to examine the injury risks on the roster as well as the talent level.
- Wide receiver Vincent Brown (hamstring)
- Cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle)
- Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (personal)
- Defensive end Justin Tuck (knee)
- Offensive guard Gabe Jackson (knee)
- Tight end David Ausberry (foot)
- Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring)
- Cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee)
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering all things Oakland A’s. His work can be found on a Examiner.com.