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Injuries beginning to mount for the Raiders, ‘We’re struggling at linebacker right now’

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one position that has been snake bitten for the Raiders, it is at linebacker. First it was the loss of Marquel Lee, who was placed on IR designated to return, then the suspension of Vontaze Burfict for 12 games, and now Justin Phillips will have his season ended with a knee injury.

To add to the concern, Tahir Whitehead is also feeling a bit nicked up after Sunday’s game.

“We got a lot of guys that are over there getting looked at,” Gruden said. “We did lose Justin Phillips, linebacker, for the season, he had a knee injury yesterday. So we’re struggling at linebacker right now obviously with Marquel Lee and Vontaze’s (Burfict) suspension.”

Linebacker was a position the roster was thin at prior to the injuries, but now it’s gotten to the point of crisis. There aren’t many options left at linebacker. Dakota Allen is also on the roster but was inactive last week.

Gruden did not rule out the possibility of a return for Lee and said they planned to address the position in the next 48 hours. If this means bringing in someone before Tuesday’s trade deadline or through free agency is unknown.

“Well, like I said, we are going to try and bring in another linebacker and train him,” Gruden added. “We have Dakota Allen, who didn’t play yesterday also on the team, but we’re thin. We gotta add another linebacker, certainly. Hopefully, Whitehead is ready to go. He came out of the game a little nicked up too.”