The season is coming up quick. We’re just three days from the roster cutdown, six days from game week prep and 13 days from the season opener on Monday night. That means the Raiders will soon need to make decisions on how to handle their injured players.
No injured player is more important than right guard Gabe Jackson. He suffered an MCL injury in training camp that carried a timetable of 8 weeks. That would figure to have him out the first four weeks of the season if went well. But we’re only a few weeks into his recovery and once he heals, there’s the matter of getting back in football shape. All these things must be considered and they must be considered basically by Friday when the roster cutdown is due.
If they think Jackson will be able to return on time to play week five, they may keep him on the active roster. If not, they must consider putting him on IR with designation to return. That would have him return to practice as early as six weeks into the season and play at 8 weeks.
“Yeah, he’s doing good. I see him walking around, which is a great sign,” Gruden said of Jackson. “Rehab is going well. I don’t know when he’s going to be ready. I don’t even know if we are going to put him on IR, honestly, but his progress has been good. We’ll see where we are after the Seahawk game and make that final determination.”
The other notable injuries are along the defensive line. Justin Ellis has been missing with injury. Sunday Gruden seems to think the big nose tackle could be ready for the season opener, now he sounds like he’s less certain.
“I know he’s out this week,” Gruden said of Ellis. “Don’t know when he’s going to be ready, so we’ll have to gather all the information obviously after the Seahawk game. See who’s available, see what we are going to do, but right now he’s not ready to go.”
Former third round pick Eddie Vanderdoes has been a curious case. He tore his ACL in the final game of his rookie season in 2017. That injury cost him his second season. He was back for the offseason and then suffered a concussion on the second day of camp and still hasn’t returned. That’s scary. Not a good sign for his future in the NFL.
“Not ready to go,” Gruden said of Vanderdoes on Tuesday. “He’s been hurt the whole training camp basically. It’s unfortunate, we haven’t really had a chance to see Eddie in pads since I’ve been here.”
Rookie fourth round pick Maxx Crosby broke his hand in the team’s second preseason game in Arizona. At the time he put it in a hand cast and went back into the game — a move that had defensive coordinator Paul Guenther call him a “crazy sumbitch” — but has since not played or practice with it.
Gruden said Crosby is coming along and could play with some extra protection on the hand in games that count.
“He got the cast off. He’s wearing a big ball on there now,” Gruden said. “It looks really bad, but hopefully when the season starts we’ll be able to fit him with something that allows him to use his fingers. We just got to let the stitches come out before we do that.”
Trent Brown has missed a couple practices this week, but it was not injury related. Gruden said it was a personal matter.