ALAMEDA – The Raiders offensive line has a huge problem heading into Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. Both offensive guard spots have been decimated by injury.
Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson missed Wednesday’s practice with injury, and it’s possible both missed the Bengals game. Chief backup at both guard spots and center Jon Feliciano is now on injured reserve.
That doesn’t leave much flanking center Rodney Hudson, which is why Denver Kirkland and Cameron Hunt were signed. Hunt was brought in to be the backup center.
Kirkland will join Denzelle Good and Chaz Green in the mix to play guard if their frontline starters remain out.
“I know that both (Osemele and Jackson) are as tough as they come and if there’s a will, there’s a way,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “They have the will, I know that. We’ll just hope for the best. Like we’ve done at other positions on offense, we’ll have to rally around the next guy up.”
Gruden also lauded Jackson’s and Feliciano’s toughness, for finishing the game-winning drive against Pittsburgh despite significant injuries. Feliciano could barely walk down the stretch, and Jackson refused to burn a timeout late to give him time to recover from tremendous elbow pain.
The interior line, by far the line’s strength, is in bad shape and the Raiders must find ways to handle that setback against a tough Bengals front.
“It will be very challenging, especially against a good defense,” Carr said. “Their front, obviously we know they got good players. It just is what it is this year. Guys are hurt, guys are leaving the building and we are getting new guys in. It’s next man up, but just the mentality that coach Gruden and I have together is, however it unfolds we are going to give Cincinnati our best shot.”
Raiders practice report
Did not practice
G Gabe Jackson (elbow/ankle)
LG Kelechi Osemele (toe)
LB Kyle Wilber (hamstring)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle, knee)
DL Maurice Hurst (ankle)
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)
FB Keith Smith (calf)
CB Daryl Worley (shoulder)
CB Gareon Conley (groin)
Bengals practice report
Did not practice
LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)
DE Michael Johnson (concussion)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle)
OT Clint Boling (knee)
OT Cordy Glenn (back)
CB Tony McRae (concussion)
CB KeiVarae (finger)
QB Jeff Driskel (right shoulder)
WR Alex Erickson (shoulder)