In week 14 of last season, Raiders Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn was helped off the field with a serious foot injury. Just how serious was not known at that time, but it’s become clear that injury was significant.
Coming up in about ten days, the Raiders will start their offseason workouts. Not only will Donald Penn still be rehabbing his foot, but he could miss all of the team’s offseason practices, based on the timetable Jon Gruden has laid out.
“We got to get him healthy, Gruden said at the owner’s meetings last week. “He broke his foot, had a lis franc surgery. He’s not healthy now and he won’t be ready to go for a couple months. That’s the number one issue right now with Penn.”
A couple months would take Penn until at least June before he would be ready to go. Organized Team Activities go through May with the 3-day mandatory minicamp taking place in early June. Unless Penn is absolutely good to go, with no risk of re-injury, he could very well not see the practice field until training camp.
Gruden and Penn go way back. Penn was Gruden’s left tackle in Tampa his final two seasons as head coach there.
“I remember we signed Donald Penn off the Vikings’ practice squad,” Gruden said. “We played Carolina one day and I remember Luke Pettigrew got hurt. And I said ‘what the hell are we gonna do now? We gotta go with Donald Penn? Against Julius Peppers?’ and he actually did a great job. He’s actually become a Pro Bowl left tackle. It’s a credit to him. Came out of Utah State, off the practice squad, to becoming a starter, to becoming a Pro Bowler, and to have a chance to be back with him is pretty cool. We were laughing last night. It’ll be quite an experience because we’re both at different stages of our lives.”
He may get to chat it up with Penn. But seeing him on the field again may have to wait until August. Which I suppose is better than last year when he participated in the offseason practices only to hold out all of training camp for a new contract.