Last week Gareon Conley made some waves when in a tweet he mocked the idea that he had shin splints, saying he flat out did not have shin splints, and even going as far as to retweet someone who was claiming it was ‘fake news’ drummed up by the media.
The problem is that the person who said he had shin splints was Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, who made the revelation in the same media appearance in which he said how excited he was following the grand jury decision that no charges would be filed against Conley for sexual assault allegations.
Conley clearly wasn’t aware that McKenzie, who drafted him and has stood by him throughout this ordeal, had made the statement about his injury. So, now he was inadvertently disputing his own team’s GM, and putting the Raiders in the awkward position of explaining the discrepancy.
Jack Del Rio has had a firm stance since taking over as Raiders head coach to never talk about injuries unless forced to in order to be in accordance with NFL rules. So, up until Conley’s tweet, the media had no reason not to take the statement by McKenzie as the statement of the team on Conley’s injury.
At Del Rio’s press conference following the team’s preseason game in Arizona Saturday night, he addressed the situation, including Reggie McKenzie’s statement on it.
“We don’t talk about exactly what it is that’s going on,” Del Rio said of Conley’s specific injury. ”I know Reggie indicated that it was something and he basically when he said that, he said ‘I’m not an expert on that’ or something along those lines, so there you have it.”
What McKenzie said exactly was “He’s got the shin splints, so it could be a few days, I don’t know in particular, but once he starts running and not feel pain... It shouldn’t take that long.” So, what Del Rio could be referring to was when McKenzie said “I don’t know in particular.”
And we still don’t know what his actual injury is that had him out part of minicamp and all of training camp thus far.
Del Rio stands by Conley, saying “he’s working his butt off to get back, he’s doing everything we’re asking him to do, he’s been a model teammate, and he’s doing things exactly how he should be.” Adding that Conley is mending and that “he’s gonna be fine in a short amount of time.”
There is a very short amount of time remaining in training camp. Three days of practice to be exact. The next camp practice is Tuesday and the team breaks camp Thursday the 17th.
The season is still four weeks away, so there is still time, but missing training camp will likely have Conley behind and in need of some time to catch up with his teammates.