Nothing appears to be going right for the Las Vegas Raiders early in the season. The team is 1-4, star wide receiver Davante Adams could eventually face a suspension and injuries are starting to pile up. The team already has starting cornerback Anthony Averett on the Injured Reserve and he’ll soon have company.
The Raiders announced that Nate Hobbs has been sent to Injured Reserve after undergoing hand surgery following the Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He’ll now miss at least four games. This is potentially devastating news for the team as they look to turn their season around. Hobbs has been one of their best defensive players since last season. It’s surprising that the injury will keep him out as he was able to finish the Chiefs game despite it.
As a rookie, Hobbs was the Raiders’ starting slot cornerback and was among the best in the NFL at the position. This season, the team has decided to give him reps as an outside cornerback and he’s continued to have success. There have been times when he’s looked like an emerging star. This is a big blow for the Raiders and an even bigger blow for Hobbs. It remains to be seen if the plan is for him to come back in four weeks or if the injury will keep him out longer.
Raiders Need to Consider Adding a CB
Averett is eligible to return from the Injured Reserve this week which would give the Raiders a big boost but there’s been no word if he’s ready. If not, the team needs to consider trying to add a proven cornerback. Those aren’t easy to find at this point in the season but the team needs to try.
The Raiders have the ninth-worst pass defense in the NFL through six weeks and it’s not getting better with Hobbs out. The team’s decision to not add a notable cornerback like Stephon Gilmore or James Bradberry in free agency may come back to bite them.
Williams Jackson III Could Be Option
If the Raiders want to find a difference-maker at cornerback, they may need to look to the trade market. They could try to swing a trade for a more notable player like Jaycee Horn but they’ll have to give up a lot. The team could also take a chance on a disgruntled player. Washington Commanders cornerback William Jackson III is not happy with his team and would like to get moved, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
He wants to go to a team that players more man coverage, which is something that the Raiders do. Pro Football Focus believes a late-round pick would get a trade done:
Jackson did not play this past Thursday night and has apparently requested a trade to a team that deploys more man coverage. Jackson signed as a marquee free agent in Washington just two offseasons ago.
Jackson has played more zone than he’s apparently comfortable with, and it’s certainly not leading to strong results after he was signed to the largest contract of the above group.
Jackson isn’t a shutdown cornerback and only has five career interceptions but is a former first-round pick who has started in 64 career games. He’s a player the Raiders should take a look at.