The Las Vegas Raiders turned some heads when they decided to make Trent Brown the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL last offseason. Any concerns about the deal quickly evaporated after Brown played at an elite level. However, the injury bug started to bite him and he couldn’t finish up the season.
The injuries followed him into this offseason which caused him to miss most of training camp. He started the Week 1 game versus the Carolina Panthers but only lasted a few plays before having to leave. This led head coach Jon Gruden to give a cryptic answer about his injury.
“It’s obviously a concern, but I’m good at it,” Gruden said Monday. “I’m good at being concerned about it. Really good at it.”
Based on Gruden’s comments, it seems like there’s a bit of frustration with Brown. He’s the highest-paid player on the team, so it’s a big problem he’s not playing. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, things might not be looking good for the Pro Bowler:
I got a lot of questions about the Raiders’ right tackle, so I’ll try to cover all the concerns in this one answer.
If you saw Jon Gruden’s Monday news conference, and specifically his answer about his concern with Brown after he lasted just three plays Sunday, there is frustration building.
It’s safe to say there is concern about whether Brown, who has a calf injury, is doing everything he can to be available for all four quarters, whether it’s being diligent with the injury management program or fighting through whatever he is dealing with on game day.
This information comes after former Raiders Pro Bowl offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy questioned if Brown truly loves football. If that’s the case, Gruden won’t hesitate to move on from him.
Is It Fair to Question Brown Already?
While Brown’s injury status is very concerning, it’s not fair to question whether or not he loves football just yet. If you follow Brown on social media, it’s clear that he works really hard. He also played through injury last year.
As we saw with Andrew Luck last year, sometimes these nagging injuries are a lot worse to deal with than people realize. Now, the Raiders have every right to be frustrated. All that money they’re paying Brown could’ve gone to adding a star pass rusher like Jadeveon Clowney or Yannick Ngakoue. Instead, a large portion of their cap is going towards a guy who’s having trouble staying on the field. Hopefully, he can get back on the field quickly and these concerns disappear.
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Will Raiders Add Depth to the Position?
Not only did Brown have to leave the game early, so did his backup Sam Young. Bonsignore addressed whether or not the Raiders plan to bring in more depth:
As to whether the Raiders bring in someone for more coverage at that position, part of it depends on the severity of Sam Young’s groin issue and whether the Raiders put Brown on short-stint injured reserve. The IR approach could be worrisome, as you wonder how Brown will react without the motivation of preparing for a game each week.
Fortunately, there does appear to be momentum around the idea that Brown is going to play.