The Raiders will be without starting left tackle, Menelik Watson and starting tight end David Ausberry when the team travels to Indianapolis for the 2013 season opener, head coach Dennis Allen announced Friday.
Watson was taking over for injured left tackle Jared Veldheer who is expected to be placed on partial season injured reserve with a triceps injury. In Wednesday's practice, Watson tweaked his knee and couldn't finish. He was replaced at left tackle by Khalif Barnes. Barnes has experience at left tackle but hasn't played at the position for three seasons. Replacing Barnes spot at right tackle will be recently acquired Tony Pashos.
Barnes and Pashos are currently the only active offensive tackles on the roster which means the Raiders will activate practice squad tackle, Matt McCants, to the roster. McCaint is a first year player out of Alabama-Birmingham. The team signed him to the Practice squad just this week. A corresponding roster move will be made Saturday.
David Ausberry had won the starting tight end job in training camp and then suffered a shoulder injury in the team's second preseason game in New Orleans. He will be replaced by Jeron Mastrud who came into camp as the fifth tight end on the depth chart and earned his way onto the roster. Mastrud is known for his blocking. He has appeared in 36 games in his three-year career, all with the Miami Dolphins. He has just one career catch for eight yards.