One of the biggest new additions, literally and figuratively, for the Oakland Raiders this offseason was that of offensive tackle Trent Brown. The 6’8 former New England Patriot is coming off a Super Bowl run and is looking to bring that winning tradition to Oakland. The team forked over the biggest contract for an offensive line in the history of the NFL to land Brown.
Though Brown has had an uneven career to this point, he’s showed up well in training camp and practice. He’ll be switching back to his original position at right tackle with Kolton Miller on the left side. Brown was a left tackle while playing for the Patriots and thrived during the playoffs. The Raiders are happy with Miller on the left side, so they’re planning on sticking with Brown on the right. There hasn’t been much of a chance to see Brown play in the preseason as he only played a few snaps versus the Arizona Cardinals.
One thing that has been notable is that Brown has missed a couple of practices in a row. It was unclear if this was due to an injury or for other reasons. Well, head coach Jon Gruden had a chance to shed more light on the absence. Gruden said that Brown has been gone because of a “personal matter.” He did reiterate that everything is okay and that the absence was excused. It’s unclear why Brown might be missing practice. One possibility is that it was Brown’s former teammate at Florida and best friend, Neiron Ball’s birthday last week.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ball, he was a former linebacker for the Oakland Raiders but had to leave the NFL because of a rare, congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Recently, Ball’s story went viral because his family posted a GoFundMe stating that they couldn’t afford his treatments. Brown and Ball were very close, so it’s possible that he’s out in Florida to visit his friend. Regardless, his absence shouldn’t be extended for very long.
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Gabe Jackson’s Rehab Injury Update
One of the biggest setbacks the Raiders had all offseason was losing offensive guard Gabe Jackson to an MCL injury. Jackson has been a mainstay on the offensive line since he was drafted in 2014. While the team expects him to miss eight weeks, head coach Jon Gruden is happy with how he’s coming along.
“He’s doing good,” said Gruden about Jackson’s rehab. “We see him walking around, which is a great sign. Rehab is going well. I don’t know when he’s going to be ready, I don’t know if we’re going to even put him on IR, honestly. But his progress has been good and we’ll see where we are after the Seahawk game and make that final determination.”
What Gruden says is good news because if they put Jackson on the injured-reserve, he won’t be able to come back until after eight weeks of regular-season time. Though Jackson’s injury is supposed to keep him out for eight weeks, the injury happened almost three weeks ago. This could mean that the Raiders expect him to be back around week six or week seven. It’s a situation to monitor, but the sooner he returns, the better.