The Raiders seem to have a real problem with top pick rookie defensive backs missing training camp. The latest is cornerback Gareon Conley who suffered a shin injury in minicamp in June and spent the entire training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
At no point was Conley even working on the side. Every day it was the same thing. He would take the field in a bucket hat, jersey, and sweatpants and watch as his teammates went through drills and team sessions.
During camp, when Conley was cleared by a grand jury of sexual assault allegations from last March, GM Reggie McKenzie said he had shin splints. He also added that Conley would only be out a short time.
A week later, he said on twitter that he did NOT have shin splints, apparently not realizing his team’s General Manager had been the one who said he did.
A few days ago, he posted a picture of his leg receiving LED treatment on his shin with the words “It’s getting better”. LED treatments are commonly used for, among other things... shin splints.
Now, here we are, still wondering if not shin splints, then what could have him unable to practice for what has now reached over two months and counting. How much more counting will there be? Will he be ready for the season opener? Could he end up on IR for the first part of the season?
We just don’t know.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said, with just over three weeks until the start of the season, he has not begun considering the possibility Conley won’t be ready to go.
“No. I don’t think we’re there,” said Del Rio. “Obviously, the next couple of weeks will be huge.”
I would think they are.
The team has three more preseason games and I’m sure they would like to get him some game reps in at least one of them before the start of the regular season. Despite the assertion by John Pagano that Conley is up to speed from a mental standpoint, they just don’t replace actually doing it. Conley will be behind his fellow cornerbacks both mentally and physically.
We’ve seen slow starts dog young players throughout their rookie seasons before. Namely 2013 top pick, DJ Hayden, 2015 third round pick, Clive Walford, and 2016 top pick Karl Joseph,