Jack Del Rio is frustrated. He should be. His team has lost two-straight games that they had several chances to win. And in both of those frustrating losses, Latavius Murray was pulled late.
I would use the term "benched", but Del Rio made it clear that wasn't the term he would use to describe it. Either way, it's fairly clear he is not happy with his workhorse back.
Murray injured his shoulder in last week's game and the next time he saw the ball, he dropped a pass that was then intercepted off the tip. Then later, he dropped a pitch and the Broncos recovered the fumble. That was his last play of that game.
This week in practice, he was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced full on Friday. It appeared he was good to go. Then in the third quarter of the game, he was taken to the locker room and though he returned to the sideline with helmet in hand, he did not return to the game.
"It was bothering me a little bit, so Roy [Helu Jr] stepped in and Marcel [Reece], just ising in different personnel." Murray said after the game.
From the sounds of it, though, Del Rio may not see Murray's situation quite the level of severity that should have kept him out the game.
"He was a little banged, but he was available." said Del Rio.
Keep in mind, this is a head coach that said after Charles Woodson suffered his dislocated shoulder, that he had seen guys play with such an injury before. And Del Rio will play a guy like Woodson because even with one arm what he adds from a leadership and mental standpoint, makes up for that.
And play Woodson did. Del Rio is old school. He respects that. He expects that. He didn't get that from Murray on Sunday. He wanted us to know that Murray was not on the sideline because he was 'unable' to go. And he's not happy about it. He and the rest of the Raiders will have two weeks of cool down period before they take the field again. At which point we'll see if Murray's role changes at all.