It’s probably time for the Las Vegas Raiders to accept the fact that every week they’re going to be missing some of their best players.
Whether it’s injury or COVID-19 related, the Raiders can’t get seem to find a consistent lineup to field every week. The team is headed to New York to play the Jets this week and they’re going to be missing some key pieces. Head coach Jon Gruden revealed on Friday that Johnathan Abram and Josh Jacobs will be out Sunday. They won’t even travel with the team.
For those with short memories, those are the two of the guys the Raiders took in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Abram and Jacobs are important starters so missing them is going to be a big blow. Abram has missed a game this season but this will be the first time Jacobs has missed action.
The running back dealt with injuries last year but has been sturdy this season. Unfortunately, he got tackled awkwardly around the ankle during the blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week. Luckily, there should be a chance for both guys to return next week.
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Clelin Ferrell to Return
It wasn’t all bad news for the Raiders. Gruden also revealed that defensive end Clelin Ferrell will return versus the Jets. He’s missed the last two games due to COVID-19 and he should help give the team a boost. With Maliek Collins headed to injured reserve, Ferrell could be moved to the interior of the defensive line quite a bit.
He has yet to get a sack this season but he’s been really strong in the run game. The Raiders have missed him the last couple of weeks. Had he played against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11, the team might actually pull off the win. Regardless, he’s back now and should be a difference-maker for the Raiders defense.
Other Injury Issues Heading Into Sunday
While Jacobs and Abram for sure won’t play against New York, the Raiders could also be missing more. Starting cornerback Trayvon Mullen missed practice on Friday with an illness and is questionable for Sunday’s game. He’s been the team’s number one cornerback all season so missing him wouldn’t be good.
Isaiah Johnson is another cornerback who is questionable after missing practice on Friday. He’s dealing with a groin issue and it remains to be seen how serious the injury is. Missing Johnson and Mullen would be very bad for the team’s depth at cornerback.
In some good news, it looks like Damon Arnette will play. He had to leave Week 12’s game against the Falcons early due to a concussion. He was a full participant in practice on Friday and doesn’t carry an injury designation. He should be ready to go barring a setback. Arnette has struggled to stay on the field this season and they really need him to get more reps.