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Raiders second round pick Menelik Watson in line for first NFL start at right tackle

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Otto Greule Jr

No sooner do the Raider get offensive tackle Menelik Watson back from injury is he expected to make his first start of his career. Watson was active for the first time last week but was backing up both tackle positions. He entered the game last week against the Eagles when starting right tackle, Matt McCants went down with a foot injury.

Now McCants is not practicing with his foot in a walking boot according to media present at practice. In addition, former starting right tackle, Tony Pashos, has yet to return from his hip flexor injury that has had him out the past few weeks. This puts Watson squarely in line to make his first start at right tackle this Sunday when the Raiders travel to New York to play the Giants.

This same thing happened to Watson in the preseason. He returned from his calf injury on the last day of camp and was immediately thrust into the starting left tackle job. Jared Veldheer had been lost for the season and the team was not comfortable giving the starting job to Alex Barron.

Watson was set to start at left tackle in the opener until he went down with a knee injury which forced the team to move Khalif Barnes from right to left tackle and start newly signed Tony Pashos at right tackle. Now Barnes remains at left tackle with Veldheer yet to return from partial season injured reserve and Watson will bookend the line on the other side.

Watson played well in relief of McCants last week and the team feels good that he can handle the job this week. The question now will become who is the backup. If Pashos is still out, the team will likely once again call up Jack Cornell from the practice squad to back up for tackle positions.