By Abraham Gutierrez
One victory away from getting back to .500 in the 2015 NFL season, the (5-6) Oakland Raiders will be lucky to have a rather healthy roster when the rival (6-5) Kansas City Chiefs come to town. That’s because according to Jack Del Rio’s final injury report, there are only six Raider players slowed by injury heading into Week 13.
“We’re just looking for production,” said Oakland’s first-year coach regarding personnel usage. “Guys that play the best are going to play more. It’s really simple. All of our guys have really competed hard. Some have been more productive, and we’re looking to play the guys that are being more productive for us.”
Starting with those who will not be playing against the red-hot Chiefs on Sunday, the Raiders will be without the services of cornerback Keith McGill (Ankle) and linebacker Neiron Ball (knee) – as neither one was able to participate in practice this week.
The only positive takeaways from their absence is that neither McGill (9 games played; no starts) nor Ball (6 games; 2 starts) have been able to stay healthy this season, therefore, being DNPs will not be that detrimental to Oaktown’s chances.
Next on the list are those names that were placed under the doubtful category, which means their statuses will likely be a game-time decision. Those two players are backup running back Taiwan Jones (knee) and center Rodney Hudson (ankle).
With first-stringer, Latavius Murray healthy, there isn’t that much of a concern regarding Jones’ status. However, Hudson’s ankle was a topic of conversation in Del Rio’s press conference Friday.
“He’s doubtful for right now,” said the head coach, who has Tony Bergstrom as the backup center in the Raiders depth chart. “Went yesterday and we’ll make that decision as we get closer.”
Prior to getting to the lone probable, there’s one more Oakland player that’s also in danger of becoming a spectator at the O.co Coliseum this week. Listed as questionable in Week 13 is cornerback Neiko Thorpe, who was limited in practice due to a knee injury.
In his third season out of Auburn, the 25-year-old from Southfield, Michigan, has been a pleasant surprise for Del Rio. Even though Thorpe has started just once this year, he’s played in all 11 games for the Raiders, tallying 35 tackles and an interception in the process.
Finally, the lone wolf is a man who’s been nursing with a shoulder injury since the season opener. Slowly building the reputation of being one of the most beloved Raiders in franchise history, Charles Woodson is listed as probable in a game the Silver and Black must have.
In his 20th season out of Michigan, the ageless wonder comes into Week 13 as the team leader in interceptions and is tied for second place in the National Football league with five picks. Woodson is third on the team in tackles with 55, and more so, he’s the heart and soul of this defensive unit.
Oakland Raiders NFL Week 13 Injury Report & Game Statuses
(S) Charles Woodson (Shoulder) – Full Participation in Practice
(CB) Neiko Thorpe (Knee) – Limited Participation in Practice
(C) Rodney Hudson (Ankle) – Limited Participation in Practice
(RB) Taiwan Jones (Knee) – Limited Participation in Practice
(CB) Keith McGill (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.