There were some rocky moments early but the Las Vegas Raiders‘ offensive line held up decently well against the Baltimore Ravens during the 33-27 Week 1 win. The team allowed three sacks, which isn’t too bad considering starting left guard Richie Incognito was out and starting right guard Denzelle Good left the game early. However, Good has torn his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season.
With Incognito’s status up in the air, the team can’t rely on just John Simpson and Jermaine Eluemunor. According to Tom Pelissero, the Raiders are bringing in some reinforcements by signing guard Jordan Simmons off of the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.
Simmons came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent of the Raiders back in 2017, before Jon Gruden took over as head coach. He got to spend one offseason under Gruden but didn’t make the roster at the end of training camp. He made his way to the Seahawks and has been with the team since. He’s played in 20 games over his career, including nine starts. He doesn’t have a ton of experience but the Raiders just need depth right now. He should be familiar enough with how the team does things compared to other options available.
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Andre James & Alex Leatherwood Struggle
While the first game of the season wasn’t a complete disaster for the offensive line, there were some players who struggles. Center Andre James and right tackle Alex Leatherwood were the biggest question marks heading into the season. James had one career start at center and Leatherwood is a rookie.
Unfortunately, neither of them did enough to calm any of the concerns as both struggled. According to Pro Football Focus, James was the worst graded center in the NFL in Week 1 and Leatherwood was the worst graded tackle. Both also had some really bad moments. James had a miscommunication with quarterback Derek Carr that led to him snapping the ball too early, which derailed a possible scoring drive. Leatherwood almost cost the team the game with a false start at the one-year line in overtime. Instead of punching the ball in, the Raiders were forced to throw and the ball was intercepted. Had the team not gotten the ball back, Leatherwood would’ve been in a world of pain with the fans.
Both guys are young so they deserve the benefit of the doubt. However, they’re going up against a ferocious Pittsburgh Steelers pass rush on Sunday so they better improve quickly.
Gruden Praises Eluemunor
Eluemunor was only just recently signed to the Raiders last month. He’s mostly played tackle in his career so the team likely wasn’t hoping to play him at guard. Despite that, Gruden believes that he played well.
“Jermaine Eluemunor came off the bench and did an unbelievable job for us, given the fact that he just got here,” Gruden told reporters Tuesday.
If Incognito can’t go on Sunday, Eluemunor will likely start at right guard with Simpson staying at left guard. That worked out OK in Week 1 but it will be a much tougher test in Week 2.