Despite an awful four-game skid, the Oakland Raiders still find themselves in the playoff race. It’s a long shot, but they’re going to do their best to go down with a fight. The team will be heading to Los Angeles on Sunday to take on the Chargers. Oakland will be missing key offensive players like Trent Brown and Josh Jacobs, but they’ll be getting one back.
Rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has been out with a rib injury for the last three games and the Raiders have clearly missed him. He broke his rib that punctured his lung against the New York Jets, but that didn’t stop him from finishing that game.
“It wasn’t hard because we were getting beat so bad,” Renfrow said on Thursday. “In those situations, you don’t want to give up on your teammates. There are injuries a lot of guys play with that people don’t even hear about. It definitely didn’t feel good, but I thought I could finish the game.”
The rookie definitely showed off his toughness in the game and he’s more than ready to get back on the field versus the Chargers.
“I felt good today,” Renfrow said. “Being able to go out there and run routes after some time away really makes you appreciate it. There are things you can improve while you’re sitting back and watching, but there’s always that itch to get back.”
Greg Olson Sounds Off
Renfrow’s ability to make big catches late in games or on third downs is something the Raiders have desperately missed. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson thinks the rookie is ready to go based on what he’s seen.
“He looks fresh,” Olson said about Renfrow on Thursday. “There wasn’t an issue to be honest with you, he’s been able to run out here in the rehab process without any pain, but because of the injury and the rib and where it was at, they were just concerned it could reinjure. But he’s been running now for a couple weeks and has looked very well.”
Renfrow caught passes for 42 yards in his first game against the Chargers. While he doesn’t stack up monster stats, he’s great for an easy first down.
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Renfrow Looks to the Future
Though the 2019 season will likely end in disappointment for the Raiders, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t close to fielding a contender. With so much young talent on the roster, the team figures to just keep getting better and better. Renfrow had a chance to talk about this.
“I think we were starting to hit our stride a little bit and it’s tough to miss time at that point, but those good things you did don’t just go away,” Renfrow said. “Hopefully we’re building something for a while, so we work on things every day at practice and gain confidence from doing that in games.”
When the Raiders were winning, everybody was saying that they were ahead of their rebuild. Now that they’ve regressed, everybody wants to act like the sky is falling. The reality is, the Raiders have a promising future and they should be a hot pick to sneak into the 2020 playoffs.