Jon Gruden has expressed a few times how valuable he thinks Justin Ellis could be in a return to the team. The big nose tackle has been on injured reserve since the opener. He returned to practice this week, but his return will have to wait another week.
“I don’t think he’s going to play this week,” Gruden said of Ellis. “We’ll shoot for next week. We’ll try to get him a couple more practices. He is getting better.”
As it stands, they will attempt to stop the run without Ellis against a Ravens team that put up 267 yards on the ground last week; 119 of which came from quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Johnathan Hankins has been the man charged with replacing Ellis’s nose tackle duties. The 6-2, 325-pounder has done a fair job as the interior clogger while the rookie tandem of PJ Hall and Maurice Hurst have looked to provide some interior pass rush. That will continue to be the interior Dline for the Raiders at least for another week.