After missing practice last week, there was some concern about the status of Raiders second round rookie safety Obi Melifonwu for the season opener. We have the answer and it isn’t good news.
Not only will he not be available for the opener, he has been placed on Injured Reserve with a knee injury along with offensive lineman Denver Kirkland with a significant injury he suffered in the preseason.
Melifonwu had returned for the team’s third preseason game after missing most of training camp. He either suffered a new injury or reaggravated the injury that kept him out of camp.
Both players will now be out at least the first 8 games of the season. The Raiders need not designate either player to return. If it were season ending IR, they would have been placed on IR with the initial 53-man roster cuts. Having them on the roster at the cutdown allows them to return this season.
The earliest they may return to practice is 6 weeks.
In corresponding moves, the Raiders signed Xavier Woodson-Luster who spent training camp and preseason with the team along with safety Erik Harris who appeared in four games for the Saints last season.