It was a hell of a first preseason game for the Raiders rookies against the Detroit Lions. The overwhelmingly positive introduction to the likes of P.J. Hall, Nick Nelson, Maurice Hurst and Eddy Pineiro was a very welcome sight for the Silver and Black.
As great as that first game was, it wasn’t a complete preview for the Raiders 2018 draft class because they were still missing their 2 injured 3rd round selections, OT Brandon Parker and DE Arden Key. For those of us that have been anxiously awaiting the chance to see these two in action, they’ve taken a step closer to that happening.
Both Brandon Parker and Arden Key have returned to practice today, which hopefully means the Raiders will have their entire draft class for their next preseason game this Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
Arden Key is back at #Raiders training camp. Had missed Friday’s preseason opener with sprained ankle. Gruden said he expects him to play vs LA in 2nd preseason game this week.— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) August 13, 2018
Oakland has not had much luck in the injury department with their draft classes of late, but hopefully the streak that has been haunting the Raiders has now ended with the return of Key and Parker to practice today. Even though Arden Key is the player most fans want to see in action, the stakes are actually higher for Brandon Parker to get back onto the field because he is competing for the starting Right Tackle position this season.
If Key and Parker both get on the field against the Rams then it will be the first game where the Raiders have their entire rookie class together since their class of 2016. They never did get all of their rookies together in the same game last year after nagging injuries to Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu followed them throughout the season.
Speaking of Melifonwu, he is still missing in action with his undisclosed injury. After Friday’s game Gruden said the Raiders still were evaluating his injury and there has not been another update since then.
Still no Obi Melifonwu. After Friday’s game Gruden said they are still evaluating his injury. #Raiders— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) August 13, 2018
Considering the coaches responses to Melifonwu earlier this off-season it’s fair to wonder if he will even make the roster this season if he isn’t able to get back from injury sooner rather than later. Cutting ties this early with a 2nd round pick is rare, but not unheard of. With Jon Gruden being notoriously ruthless about injuries, it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see Melifonwu miss the cut if he isn’t able to get healthy soon.