Last week when Kolton Miller was injured on the opening drive, it instantly sent the offensive line into chaos. First it was utility man Ian Silberman came in to play the spot, then the team moved left guard Kelechi Osemele outside. The results weren’t great.
While Miller tried to make it work, he gave up a sack. When Silberman came in at right tackle, he gave up a sack. And when Osemele moved over from guard, he gave up a sack.
Putting any reserve in the game without a week of practice at the position is not ideal. Putting Silberman — who just a week before was the reserve center — or moving the left guard over in the middle of the game is usually not going to work out well.
“There’s a lot of conversation involved amongst the coaches, with Tom Cable specifically when it comes to the offensive line position(s),” said offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “I think we’ve had five different right tackles, four different combinations right now with the possibility of a fifth this week. . . We practice those situations in practice. Coach may call out during one of our practice periods ‘hey, Kolton Miller is down, who has to go in?’ so we practice those situations.”
Miller is practicing this week, but he is banged up. He has a wrap on his knee and a brace on his elbow.
The day after the game, the team officially claimed David Sharpe off waivers from the Texans. He will have four practices under his belt and could find himself at left tackle Sunday when the Raiders host the Chargers. Either starting or entering the game should Miller start and aggravates his knee injury again.
“That’s the possible fifth tackle that we’re talking about playing,” Olson said of Sharpe. “He’s done a nice job. A little bit rusty on Monday, but was better yesterday.”
What Sharpe has going for him is he was with the team throughout the offseason and training camp. That’s why he was brought in. He was the team’s 4th round pick out of Florida in the 2017 draft.
This wouldn’t be the first Sharpe has played left tackle for the Raiders. He came in for Donald Penn last season and started the final two games there. His first start he looked promising. His second start, not so much. Clearly he didn’t make a strong impression in Houston either. But he’s the best insurance plan the Raiders have at the moment.