By Abraham Gutierrez
The final hurdle prior to the Week 10 showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders has been cleared. According to head coach Jack Del Rio and his coaching staff, Raider Nation would be glad to know that only seven players were named in this week’s injury report.READ MORE: Flash Flood Watches Issued As Storm Aims at Fire-Scarred Northern California
Furthermore, out of the seven names on this week’s list, only a single player is expected to be a no-show on gameday. That’s because as of Friday evening, outside linebacker Neiron Ball is the lone wolf listed as unavailable for Sunday’s game in the East Bay.
The rookie out of the University of Florida will miss his third consecutive game because of a bum knee, as he’s been stuck at 9 tackles and one sack on the year since Oakland’s 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers. Ball is currently second in the Raiders OLB depth chart behind Malcolm Smith (59 tackles, 3 sacks, INT), who’s having a sensational debut season in a Raiders uniform.
In addition to Ball, there’s also one more player that’s a huge risk for Oakland as they prepare to welcome the feared Vikings defense. Listed as doubtful because of an ankle injury is center Rodney Hudson, as he was unable to participate in practice all week.
The fifth-year man out of Florida State University is currently the Raiders first-string center, which means that his absence would force the coaching staff to make some adjustments. In the case that Hudson is unable to go, Del Rio will likely turn to second-string center Tony Bergstrom for his first start of the season, as the Silver and Black will try and contain Minnesota’s relentless pass rush.
On a brighter note, the remaining five players listed in this week’s injury report are all expected to take the field. That’s particularly great news considering that there are three players who will play a key role in Oakland getting back on track.
The first name worth mentioning is, of course, free safety Charles Woodson, whose ability to play through pain is outright out of this world. The former Michigan star continues to nurse a dislocated shoulder suffered in Week 1, but as his production suggests, hasn’t slowed him down one bit.
Another key player dealing with injury is first-string running back Latavius Murray. Last week against the Steelers, the third-year man out of Central Florida was on his way to a career day, racking up 96 yards on 17 carries – his second highest total of the season – before being removed from the game due to a concussion.READ MORE: Magnitude 2.8 Earthquake Rattles East Bay Near Hercules
After limited participation in practice, the ever-improving halfback is expected to pound a Vikings run defense that ranks 19th in the National Football League surrendering 111.6 yards per contest.
And finally, there’s rookie sensation Amari Cooper, who found his name penciled into this week’s injury list for the first time as an NFL pro. the Alabama product is dealing with a quad injury, but much like Woodson and Murray, should be on the field testing the Vikes’ secondary.
Cooper comes into Week 10 still in the conversation for NFL Rookie Of The Year honors, but has hit a bit of a low in recent weeks. After a monster game in San Diego, Cooper struggled against the Jets (46 yards on 5 carries) and again against the Steel Curtain defense of Pittsburgh last Sunday (7 catches for 88 yards, TD).
Oakland Raiders NFL Injury Report & Game Statuses (Week 10)
(S) Charles Woodson (Shoulder) – Full Participation in Practice
(WR) Amari Cooper (Quad) – Full Participation in Practice
(TE) Clive Walford (Quad) – Full Participation in Practice
(RB) Latavius Murray (Concussion) – Limited Participation in Practice
(CB) T.J. Carrie (Hip) – Full Participation in Practice
(C) Rodney Hudson (Ankle) – Did Not Participate In Practice
(LB) Neiron Ball (Knee) – Did Not Participate In Practice
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, aExaminer.com and other online publications.