The Oakland Raiders have placed former starting corner back Chris Johnson on the injured reserve according to a report by Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area. This is another blow to the Raiders already injury riddled defensive unit. The Raiders have already seen two back up linebackers in Ricky Brown and Travis Goethel, one starting defensive lineman in Matt Shaughnessy and one back up safety in Hiram Eugene all go down for the season this year.
Now, the Raiders, who already have a depleted secondary that has struggled massively at times this year, are without a guy who they tagged preseason as a starter. Luckily for the Raiders, this appears to be more of an issue for depth than it does for starting purposes. Johnson started the season off terribly. He was constantly being called for pass interference or being burned throughout entire games (think Stevie Johnson in the Buffalo Bills game). Since his horrid start to the season, Johnson has spent more time nursing injuries than he has playing on the field.
While depth at the corner back position looked absolutely dismal early in the season, rookie corner backs Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Checkwa have both shown that they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Neither has been stellar in their play for the Raiders, but both have shown the ability to stick with their man and make plays, now they just need to do so with more consistency. This makes placing Johnson on the injured reserve a much easier decision for Hue Jackson. He was not playing well anyway and this allows the young corner backs on the team to get more playing time and hopefully develop into solid players for the Raiders.