After missing two straight games this late in the season, it looked like the Oakland Raiders may have to deactivate Trent Brown for the rest of the season. Jon Gruden held out hope for as long as possible, but he’s finally announced that the right tackle will be placed on injured reserve.
Fresh off his first pro bowl selection, there was hope that Brown could return for the last two games. However, his pectoral injury has just gotten too serious and there’s not enough time left in the season for him to get healthy.
“He won’t play again this year,” said Gruden on Wednesday about Brown. “His… pec[toral] is not getting any better, so it’s disappointing. Congratulations to him for making the pro bowl. Obviously what he did put on tape was very impressive.”
It’s certainly a disappointing end for what was mostly a dominant season for the veteran. Gruden gave Brown some massive praise.
“To me, he’s the best right tackle in the game,” he said. “Obviously, he’s a difference-maker. If you watch us play in London, if you watch us play any of the teams that he played against, he’s a difference-maker.”
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Will Josh Jacobs Play vs. Chargers?
Another big part of the Raiders offense who has been dealing with an injury is rookie running back Josh Jacobs. Gruden has been hesitant to rule out Jacobs, but his status isn’t looking good for Sunday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite hasn’t been 100% since at least Week 7 and he doesn’t seem to be getting much better.
Gruden said on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect Jacobs to play this Sunday, but he’s still leaving the door open for the season finale in Denver against the Broncos. There doesn’t seem to be much point in playing him going forward. The Raiders would be wise to sit Jacobs for the last two games to not risk further injury heading into the offseason.
Hunter Renfrow Could Return
In some good news, rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow could be back on Sunday. Gruden revealed on Monday that he thinks Renfrow is nearing a return. He’s was turning into one of Derek Carr’s most reliable targets before he got hurt against the New York Jets and it’s clear that the quarterback misses him.
“He did practice today,” said Gruden about Renfrow on Wednesday. “We’re gonna try to play him, perhaps let him catch a few punts. That’s another position that we’ve obviously had a lot of turnover at. The plan is to play Hunter a little bit, get him back on the grass.”
Renfrow was money on third down and the Raiders offense has struggled to convert with him gone. Oakland technically isn’t out of playoff contention. If they want any chance, they have to win their last two games. Renfrow returning will help that, but Brown and Jacobs being out will hurt that a lot more.