I think it may be safe to say things can't get any worse for the Raiders secondary without having to worry about jinxing anything. After just one game of the season, the status of their defensive backfield just went from caution to critical mass.
They came into this season with serious concerns about the inexperience of their cornerback unit after not adding any experience at the position in free agency. The most experienced member of the group is former 12th overall pick DJ Hayden with ten starts under his belt over two injury plagued NFL seasons. His fellow starter is 2014 seventh round pick T.J. Carrie who started four games last season and looks to be the best cornerback on the roster.
Behind those two, there's 2014 fourth round pick Keith McGill along with former CFLer Neiko Thorpe, and rookie seventh round pick Dexter McDonald.
With such a young group at corner, the Raiders were leaning on their veteran safeties Charles Woodson and newly acquired Nate Allen.
They lost both Woodson and Allen to significant injuries today that could have them out a while.
Allen left early Sunday versus the Bengals with a knee injury and didn't return. That injury is a torn MCL which will have him out for an unknown period of time. Jack Del Rio could only say he hopes Allen can return this season.
Woodson's shoulder injury turns out to be a dislocation according to his agent. There's not exact timetable for his return.
The Raiders had already sent Brandian Ross to injured reserve last week and officially released him today on an injury settlement. What the Raiders are left with is journeyman safety Larry Asante and undrafted rookie Keenan Lambert.
Asante is in his second stint with the Raiders after appearing in six games last season and starting two games due to injuries. Those are the only two starts of his five-year NFL career with three different teams.
Lambert was claimed off waivers from the Seahawks following the team's initial 53-man roster cuts. He went undrafted out of Norfolk State.
These injuries caused the Raiders to call up Taylor Mays whom they had just cut a week ago after two preseason games with the team. Mays spent the last four seasons as a special teamer with the Bengals, starting just four games over that time. This offseason, Mays signed a one-year deal with the Vikings and didn't last a month before being released. He was later signed with the Lions and spent all of training camp with them before being granted his release on August 21 and signing with the Raiders.
You can expect they will make at least one more move, but the prospects are not good.
Their most experienced corner (DJ Hayden) has looked atrocious and the rest of the secondary has a grand total of nine starts between them over the past two seasons.
This Raiders team was already routed by the Bengals in the opener, being shut out 33-0 in the fourth quarter before some garbage time points late, and the outlook without their two starting safeties won't help their hopes of bouncing back.