The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t come out of Week 1 unscathed. The team had a healthy offseason but it didn’t take long for injuries to happen. Cornerback Anthony Averett was recently put on the Injured Reserve and he now has a partner on it.
The Raiders announced that wide receiver DJ Turner has also been placed on the Injured Reserve
Turner was forced to leave the Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers early and never returned. He was one of the Raiders’ biggest surprises in training camp as he earned a roster spot over more experienced options. He was mostly expected to have a role on special teams and be the backup to Hunter Renfrow in the slot.
The Raiders haven’t offered much clarity on Turner’s status but it’s possible that he can return to the field in four weeks. This is a disappointing start to the season for a young player who was set to get his big break this season. The team is clearly high on him so he could see the field again this season if he gets healthy. If not, he could still have a future in Las Vegas beyond this season.
Keelan Cole to Active Roster
One of the players that Turner beat out was Keelan Cole. The veteran was expected to earn an active roster spot when he was signed due to his history of success. However, he was cut but the team was able to bring him back on the practice squad.
Cole’s patience is getting rewarded as the Raiders announced that they’ve signed him to the active roster to replace Turner. He’s a solid option to have as a fourth or fifth receiving option. He’s broken 400 receiving yards in four of his five seasons. Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow will be seeing the vast majority of targets but having a proven option like Cole around could help keep the passing game more diverse.
Hunter Renfrow Needs to Get Going in Week 2
Week 1 was the Davante Adams show. The superstar wide receiver was excellent in his Raiders debut and proved he was worth everything the team gave up to get him. While it’s not a bad strategy to rely on Adams, the team’s offense could become predictable very fast if they don’t open up the passing game. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes the Raiders need to get Hunter Renfrow more involved in Week 2:
While Adams saw 17 targets, catching 10 for 141 yards and a touchdown, Renfrow only saw six. What’s more concerning than the number itself is that the shifty receiver didn’t see a target until late in the third quarter.
The Cardinals pass defense was atrocious in Week 1. Granted, it was going against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Raiders have a better receiving corps.
Adams is a known target hog. But to maximize the passing attack, Carr needs to spread the wealth early to stretch the defense so he can go to Adams in high-pressure situations.
The Raiders also handed Renfrow big money this offseason and he was their leading receiver last season. He needs to see the ball more as he can be just as dynamic as any wide receiver in the NFL.