ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley missed his second straight game Sunday against the Ravens. There’s no certainty when this year’s first-round pick will play next.
Conley’s still dealing with a shin injury that has plagued him since June. It caused him to miss training camp, the entire preseason slate and the regular-season opener.
His debut came against the New York Jets. He looked like a first-round pick. The encore occurred the next week in Washington. Conley looked a bit slower.
Head coach Jack Del Rio slowed him down after that, saying he looked sore despite never complaining about the ailing shin. He missed the Denver game and wasn’t ready against Baltimore.
Del Rio isn’t sure when the next appearance will come.
“There’s a certain amount of pain that’s involved that keeps him from doing what he needs to do,” Del Rio said in a Monday press conference. “When he gets it under control and ready to go, we’re going to have him. Until that is under control and he’s able to do what he needs to do, he’s going to be on the sidelines.”
That the shin injury remains an issue is troubling for a Raiders secondary in need of healthy talent.
“I hope that it would be resolved in some time in the near future,” Del Rio said. “It’s an issue we’re doing the best we can to manage.”
Smith getting beat:
Veteran cornerback Sean Smith got beat deep twice against Baltimore. The first one came on the game’s initial play and went for 52 yards. The second salvo came in the second quarter, when Smith got beat for 54 yards.
Del Rio had a different take on each play.
“Well, the very first play, nobody can help him on that one,” Del Rio said. “He’s got a buzz player coming underneath him, he’s got to stay on top. You just can’t start the game that way, but the second one, Reggie [Nelson] should have intercepted that ball. That ball’s thrown inside the numbers told the middle of the field, we have to go make a play on that and give him some help there. Either way, he’s got to be on top, that’s his job to be on top on both of those plays. But, the second one he should have had more help.”
Smith allowed three catches for 114 yards on three targets in Sunday’s game, and could be counted on again next week with David Amerson and Conley uncertain to play the Chargers.
Losing at the line:
The Raiders spent significant funds and draft capital securing dominant offensive and defensive lines. Del Rio believes the Ravens took control at the line of scrimmage. He expects better from those groups and didn’t get it in key moments.
The Raiders gave up three sacks and didn’t notch any, frequently giving Flacco too much time to work. The Raiders also had problems slowing the Baltimore run game, which created issues getting off the field in crucial spots.
“I thought they were a little more physical yesterday, which is unusual,” Del Rio said. “We have really good offensive and defensive lines, but they were more physical than us yesterday. They sacked us. We didn’t sack them. They threw some long balls over the top of us. We didn’t throw any over them. They got a turnover for a touchdown. We didn’t get a touchdown. They got us yesterday.”