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Andre Gurode taking first team reps from Lucas Nix

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Levi Damien

There are many among you who were hoping that once Andre Gurode returned from his calf injury, he would take over for the struggling Lucas Nix at left guard. The Raiders may have been hoping the same thing because in practice Thursday, Gurode and Nix were sharing reps at left guard.

This development could mean Gurode steps in and starts Sunday in place of Nix. If the team feels he is back to full health and would perform better, the decision should be an easy one.

No offensive lineman on this team has been worse this season than Lucas Nix. He is literally the worst starting guard in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus' grading system. He is directly responsible for 5 sacks this season and 23 quarterback hurries.

This line has taken a lot of criticism this season, but if you look purely at the numbers, one could assess that most of the problems along the line could be solved simply by replacing Nix with an upgrade. With as terrible as he's played this season, an upgrade doesn't seem like that difficult a proposition.

It will be important to monitor if Gurode either continues to take snaps from Nix for Friday's practice or replaces him outright. It could make a sizable difference in how the line plays on Sunday.