As if injuries to key players like Jacob Ford and Darren McFadden wasn't bad enough, the Raiders look like they will be missing three more starters when the play the San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
Projected starting cornerback Chris Johnson, center Samson Satele and wide receiver Louis Murphy were all injured in practice this week. Johnson underwent an undisclosed medical procedure and the Raiders expect him to be back by the season opener in Denver. Satele was seen leaving the Raiders practice facility on his way to get an x-ray for his leg. It is unknown how serious Satele's injury is but coach Hue Jackson claimed the x-rays were precautionary and that it was not a serious injury. Finally, Louis Murphy also underwent an undisclosed medical procedure and is expected to miss the season opener in Denver.
Any injury is bad, but these three couldn't have come at worse positions.
The Raiders secondary was already weaker with the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha. Add to that the injuries to Hiram Eugene and Zack Etheridge and things looked serious. Now, starting corner Chris Johnson is also injured, meaning rookie Demarcus Van Dyke or second year players Walter McFadden or Jeremy Ware will need to step up in order to fill in opposite Stanford Routt.
Offensive line, once again, is the biggest hole on this Raiders team. Things started to look promising with the re-signing of Samson Satele. This meant that the Raiders would have their center position covered by a third year starter on the team, and they would be able to move Stefan Wisniewski to right guard, making the most out of a line with limited resources. Now, with Satele down, Wisniewski will be taking more snaps at center and the right guard position becomes a big question mark again. Hopefully Satele's injury is not too serious.
Much like many other positions, the wide receiver position has been ravaged with injuries. Darrius Heyward-Bey was injured early in training camp but is back now. Jacoby Ford suffered a broken hand and will hopefully be back by the opening game. Chaz Schilens injured his knee in the first preseason game against the Cardinals and is week to week. Now, it looks like the Raiders will have to do without Murphy for a good amount of time. He is expected to miss the remaining three preseason games and at least one regular season game. The Raiders wide receiving corps is very thin at the moment, but fans and coaches alike must be singing thanks for rookie Denarius Moore. While the injuries at the wide receiver position are certainly concerning, the fact that Moore will see additional time in the preseason is a great thing in my book.