Raiders Starter Leaves Stadium in Ambulance After Opener

andre james

Getty Las Vegas Raiders center Andre James with Josh Jacobs.

It seemed almost everything was going wrong for the Las Vegas Raiders in the first half of their season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Not only did Las Vegas lose 24-19, but they were also struck with some news after the game. Starting center Andre James had to leave SoFi Stadium in an ambulance and was taken to a local hospital, per Vincent Bonsignore of The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“He looked to be in good spirits it looks precautionary more than anything,” Bonsignore tweeted.

James appeared to get injured on the final offensive play of the game and “was slow to get up,” according to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed. James, 25, was being evaluated for a concussion, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweeted.

Head coach Josh McDaniels didn’t elaborate on James’ condition during his postgame interview. Since becoming the Raiders’ starting center last season, James hasn’t missed a single game.

What Will Raiders Do If James Has to Miss Time?

The biggest story from the Raiders’ Week 1 loss was the poor play of the offensive line. The team failed to protect quarterback Derek Carr, giving up six sacks and eight quarterback hits, and losing James could only make things worse when the Raiders host the Arizona Cardinals on September 19. If he can’t play, rookie third-round pick Dylan Parham, who started the Chargers game at guard, could take over as starting center.

Losing James and moving Parham to center could lead to more issues for the Raiders as they try to solve offensive line issues.

“It was clear the Raiders’ coaching staff is still experimenting with the [offensive line] unit that has been the subject of so much scrutiny leading up to this season,” Adam Hill of the Review-Journal wrote after the game. “The group is still a work in progress.”

In fact, the Raiders used four different personnel combinations on the offensive line, reported Reed, of The Athletic.

“It’s highly unusual for that to happen in one game — especially when none of the adjustments were due to injury — and is an indication that the coaching staff is still searching for a competent unit up front,” Reed wrote.

No Need to Panic Yet

Outside of new wide receiver Davante Adams, who put on a show with 10 catches for 141 yards, the Raiders put together an ugly performance to start the season. The expensive pass rushing duo of Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby failed to make a single sack and Carr put up one of the worst performances of his career, going 22-of-37 for 295 yards and two touchdown against three interceptions. Despite it all, the Raiders lost by only five points and were in the game until the final snap.

The team was down 17-3 at halftime but was able to make it a game in the second half. The Raiders got the score to 24-19 but couldn’t do enough to pull off the come-from-behind win over one of the most talented rosters in the NFL.

So it appears the Raiders have a lot to work on, but it’s not time to panic yet, Carr said.

“Are there signs we’re gonna be a good football team? Yeah, absolutely,” Carr told reporters after the game. “There’s no panic mode.”

The Cardinals come to Las Vegas next week after losing their opener to the Kansas City Chiefs 44-21. Both teams will look to avoid starting 0-2 and letting the season get derailed early.




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