Just three games into the season, the Raiders have already suffered three season ending injuries to special teams players, two of which came at the kicker position.
Undrafted rookie Eddy Pineiro was to be the team’s starter this season until he was lost for the season with a groin injury. He was replaced by Mike Nugent. Nugent’s holder Andrew DePaola was injured on the first punt of the season, tearing his ACL. He was replaced by undrafted rookie Trent Sieg.
Then in the third game in Miami, Nugent suffered a hip injury and he has been placed on injured reserve as well. Nugent will be eligible to return after eight weeks, but the Raiders could opt to keep him shut down for the remainder of the season.
Nugent will be replaced by undrafted rookie Matt McCrane. This gives the Raiders an entirely rookie trio of long snapper, kicker, and punter (Johnny Townsend).
McCrane originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason out of Kansas State where he was a three-time All-Big12 performer. He connected on all four of his field goal attempts in preseason action, including makes from 53 and 54 yards out, and was 3-for-3 on point after attempts.