Raiders Lose Star Offensive Player to Season-Ending Surgery

jon gruden

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

The Las Vegas Raiders are getting hit with bad news lately. They just lost to their archrival and now they’ve lost one of their best players for the rest of the season. Head coach Jon Gruden announced on Monday that starting left guard Richie Incognito will be undergoing season-ending surgery.

“I believe Richie Incognito will be out for the season,” Gruden said. “He had season-ending foot surgery. I hate to admit that but we’ve tried everything we can. Richie’s tried everything he can to get back on the field. His season is over.

Incognito hasn’t played a game since Week 2 and has been on the injured-reserved since. Despite being out for so long, there was still hope he’d return. He’s as tough as they come but he’s 37 now and it’s not as easy to play through injuries at that age. Incognito was one of the best offensive guards in the NFL last season and started off this year strong. He’s also been a great veteran leader for the team. He’s got one more year left on his contract and the plan will probably be for him to take his starting job back once he’s healthy.

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Other Raiders Injury Updates

The Incognito loss is bad enough but it doesn’t help that most of the offensive line has been banged up all season. Trent Brown was a Pro Bowler for the Raiders last year and is the team’s highest-paid player. Unfortunately, he’s only been able to play in a little bit more than one game. Just when it looked like he was getting healthy, he got COVID-19. Once he kicked that, he was on the receiving end of a medical mishap that caused him to miss another game and sent him to the hospital. He’s now dealing with lingering effects from COVID-19 and nobody knows when he might play.

“Trent Brown’s status is still up in the air,” Gruden said Monday.

While Gruden is keeping quiet, ESPN’s Adam Schefter did recently report that Brown could be returning soon.

Brown staying on the sidelines is a huge waste of money and talent for the Raiders. He’s arguably the best right tackle in the NFL. If he can get back on the field, Las Vegas will be very happy.

Raiders Backups Stepping Up

While the Raiders have been brutalized with injuries on the offensive line, it can’t be overstated how well the backups have filled in. Denzelle Good has been a revelation and has played on both sides of the line and has done it well. Some have even named him the team’s MVP. He’s been excellent for the team and he’ll continue to fill in nicely for Incognito.

Perhaps the surprise of the year is how well Brandon Parker has played. He was one of the worst offensive linemen in the NFL during his rookie season and didn’t get much playing time last year. It looked like he was on track for another lackluster year but he’s come out of nowhere and has played very well. He’s played so well that the Raiders might need to consider moving off of Brown’s contract and letting Parker take over the right tackle spot. What Tom Cable has done with this offensive line group has been incredible and he deserves a lot of credit for the Raiders’ 6-4 start.

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