Despite being listed as questionable going into the Wild Card game against the Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree is in the game for Oakland as the Raiders begin their playoff quest in 2017. While Crabtree did start and play most of the offensive snaps for Oakland in the game, the Raiders lost Crabtree early in the fourth quarter due to concussion concerns.
Crabtree was limited in practice this week because of an ankle injury, but having the best players available at this game is critical for the Raiders for a couple of reasons. First, the NFL playoffs are a single-elimination tournament, meaning that there’s no next week if Oakland loses. Secondly, given the fact that Oakland quarterback Connor Cook is slated to become first quarterback in NFL history to make his first career start in a playoff game because both Derek Carr and Matt McGloin are injured, the Raiders’ offense needs all the help it can get to take pressure off Cook.
The strongest indicator that Crabtree was likely to play before the game, is that Crabtree does appear on Oakland’s depth chart for the game against the Texans. It’s in an unusual place, however.
Early in the fourth quarter, ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who was handling the sideline reporting duties during the game, reported that Crabtree had left the field and was taken back into the team’s locker room to be evaluated by a league concussion protocol specialist for concussion-like symptoms. It’s unclear whether Crabtree will return to the game.