The early stages of the season were rough for the Las Vegas Raiders regarding injuries. The team saw multiple injuries on both sides of the balls. One of the earliest injuries that struck the team was the one to Richie Incognito. During a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams at training camp, the starting offensive lineman hurt his calf. At the time, it wasn’t considered too serious, but the Raiders are now eight games into the season and Incognito has yet to play.
Another brutal injury was to starting cornerback Trayvon Mullen. The 2019 second-round pick has come into his own as a solid pass defender but hurt his foot against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4. The Raiders put him on Injured Reserve and his timeline has remained unclear until now. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia had a chance to update how Mullen and Incognito are coming along.
“We think Trayvon’s a little bit closer than Richie,” Bisaccia said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’re hoping that we can get him hopefully to practice maybe the Dallas week and play the next week. You know we have that short week in there for Thanksgiving, but he’d been doing much better day-by-day in here.”
The Raiders don’t play the Cowboys until Week 14 so Mullen could be out for at least three more games. If he’s further along than Incognito, then the offensive lineman could miss most of the regular season.
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Will This Be Incognito’s Last Season?
Unfortunately for the Raiders, Incognito’s 2021 season is looking a lot like his 2020 season. Last year, he played in a total of two games due to a foot injury. At this point, the team would be lucky to get him for two games in 2021. That’s disappointing for the team as he was named a team captain in the offseason and has been an elite guard when he’s been on the field. His absence has been felt most of the season.
It must be even more frustrating for Incognito as this could be his last chance to play in the NFL. He’s 38-years-old and his body isn’t holding up as it once did. He’s already retired once and that could be the next move in the offseason. Regardless, the Raiders can’t rely on him again heading into the 2022 season.
John Simpson Has Only Allowed 1 Sack
In Incognito’s absence, the Raiders have had to play second-year guard John Simpson. The results have been mixed but he hasn’t been glaringly bad. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s only allowed one sack on the season. However, PFF has him rated as the 60th best guard in the NFL.
The 2020 fourth-round pick out of Clemson is still developing but could have a bright future. He wasn’t supposed to start this season but was thrown into the fire early. It’s been a struggle for the entire offensive line this year but the group is getting better as the year goes on.