After a preseason riddled with injuries, the Raiders will start off their season in Denver on Monday Night Football with a fairly healthy team.
Only three players are listed as out for the game against the Broncos, tight end Kevin Boss, wide receiver Louis Murphy and safety Mike Mitchell. While all three of these guys are important parts of the Raiders team, it is no surprise that they will not be in the lineup tonight.
Mike Mitchell has missed most of the preseason and it is unknown when he will be available again. Murphy was injured mid way through the preseason and is not expected back until week three or four at the earliest. Neither of these injuries, however, are huge blows to the Raiders.
Kevin Boss, on the other hand, will be missed. Boss was not only the Raiders best receiving option at tight end, he is also one of the Raiders better run blockers. It was originally thought that Boss would be ready for the opener after injuring his knee on August 20th, but his recovery has not gone as quickly as expected.
Others listed on the injury report, but not listed as being out of tonight’s game include:
Linebacker Darrell Blackstock (concussion), wide receiver Derek Hagan (calf), wide receiver Chaz Schilens (knee), cornerback Chris Johnson (goin), cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke (ribs) and runningback Taiwan Jones (foot).
These players are all expected to play against the Broncos, even if only for part of the game. While there are some notable names on that list, the biggest concern has to be with the two cornerbacks, Chris Johnson and Demarcus Van Dyke. According to most reports, both appear ready to play the entire game, but should one of them re-injure themselves, the Raiders could be in serious trouble.
The Raiders currently have only five cornerbacks on their roster, and two of them, Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa, are rookies. A third, Joe Porter, is only in his third year and has amassed no regular season stats in that time.
All in all, the Raiders cannot be too concerned with the injury report, especially since two of their biggest threats no longer appear on the report after a preseason spent exclusively on the list. both Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford were able to steer completely clear of the injury report, which is a huge plus for the Raiders.