The hits just keep on coming for the Las Vegas Raiders secondary. They’ve battled injuries in the defensive backfield throughout the first five games of the season and last week, the Raiders’ no. 1 corner Nate Hobbs posted on social media that he broke his hand against the Chiefs.
In his post, Hobbs said that he’d be back on the field and suggested that he’ll be able to play through the injury. However, Las Vegas announced today that they are placing the rising star on injured reserve. According to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed, he had surgery on the broken hand last week. He’ll be able to return in four weeks but that’s a lot of games to get through for a team that’s 1-4 and clinging on to slim playoff hopes.
The injury also puts a damper on what’s been an excellent season so far for the second-year pro. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level after embracing a new role as both an outside and slot corner, while ranking third among cornerbacks with 12 defensive stops, per Pro Football Focus.
Hobbs heading to IR leaves Las Vegas with Rock Ya-Sin and Amik Roberston as the two starters at corner and undrafted rookie Sam Webb as the only backup on the active roster. Granted, Anthony Averett is eligible to return from his IR stint with a broken thumb, so it couldn’t be more perfect timing if Averett is healthy and ready to play against the Texans this Sunday.
The Raiders did add Tevaughn Campbell to the practice squad — and released Bryce Cosby off of it — to provide some insurance. Campbell, an Ontario native, began his professional career in the CFL before spending the last three seasons with the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers. He played in 30 games over the last two years for the Chargers, starting 11 of them and racking up 62 total tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles and one interception which he returned for a touchdown.
Vegas also has Isiah Brown, Javelin Guidry, Tyler Hall and Nickell Robey-Coleman at their disposal, and it’s likely that one of them gets called up from the practice squad this week, especially if Averett isn’t ready. Of those four, only Guidry has played during the regular season, and he made his debut in Week 4 against the Broncos.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham certainly faces a tough challenge, trying to figure out how to slow down Texans’, Saints’, Jaguars’ and Colts’ offenses without Hobbs in the lineup. As mentioned above, these next four games are crucial to save the Raiders’ season so it’s not exactly ideal to have the team’s top corner out.