A potentially devastating situation has started to develop for the Oakland Raiders with starting right guard Gabe Jackson carted off the field during a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams. The fifth-year Raider has been a consistent starter for the team since he was drafted back in 2014. He has battled smaller injuries in the past, but nothing that’s caused him to miss more than three games.
According to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jackson appears to have hurt his leg. The injury happened during a team period and the entire offensive line gathered around him to see if he was okay. He was eventually carted off the field, which means it could be bad. However, it’s not the time for panic just yet because Denver Kirkland, a backup offensive lineman for the team, was carted off the field just a few days ago and returned to the next practice. Jerry McDonald at The Mercury News reported that Mark Davis went to check on him and spend “10 to 15 minutes before coming out.”
Losing Jackson for any amount of time would be a serious blow to the Raider offensive line. With another starting guard Richie Incognito out for the first two games because of a suspension. It’s definitely a situation to monitor.
Jon Gruden Addresses the Injury
It’s still early and it’s going to be hard to know what exactly is wrong with Jackson until he sees a doctor. Head coach Jon Gruden offered a comment, but couldn’t go into too much detail.
“We’re concerned, obviously,” said Gruden in the post-practice press conference. “We’re really concerned about him.”
“He just got rolled up a bit,” said Gruden when asked what happened.
As he always is, Gruden was very vague. He did say that he’ll give the media an update when more is known, so that will be worth keeping an eye on.
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Who Will Replace Jackon if He’s out Long?
What was once going to be a massive strength for the Raiders could quickly turn into one of the team’s biggest weaknesses if Jackson is out for long. Not only could the team be missing their two best guards to start the season, but their top back up in Denzelle Good is also recovering from surgery. He could be back to start the season, but that would be cutting things very close.
The previously mentioned Denver Kirkland will very likely start in one of the guard positions. He’s listed as Jackson’s backup on the Raiders’ first depth chart, so he’ll probably be filling in at right guard. Jonathan Cooper is the favorite to fill in for Incognito. A Kirkland-Cooper tandem is much less promising than a Jackson-Incognito tandem. If Oakland is going to succeed, they need to protect quarterback Derek Carr. It’s going to be very difficult to do that if there are too many backups starting on the offensive line. Hopefully, Jackson makes it out okay.