Raiders

Raiders' early 2019 schedule easier after Colts QB Andrew Luck retires

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Raiders' early 2019 schedule easier after Colts QB Andrew Luck retires

The Raiders’ brutal early season schedule just got a little easier.

They still will start 2019 with AFC West home games against the Broncos and Chiefs, followed by a trip to Minnesota and then another flight to Indianapolis.

A Week 4 contest played at 10 a.m. PT in a loud domed stadium is never easy, but the Raiders sneaking out with a win certainly is more probable now after Colts quarterback Andrew Luck surprised many by retiring Saturday.

The Stanford alum and former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick was a Hall of Fame talent, but injuries piled up and prompted his shocking decision.

While the Colts certainly could make changes at quarterback, Jacoby Brissett is the starter there right now. He hasn’t been great in his opportunities, with a 5-12 record as a starter.

Or maybe the Colts will trade for another passer — Mike Glennon or Nathan Peterman, anyone? — but they will be reeling heading into the season without their fearless leader.

The Colts still are a good team, with a tough offensive line, speed at receiver and a strong run game led by Marlon Mack. Their defense is better, too, so the Colts won’t be a pushover even with Luck gone.

[RELATED: Who won? Evaluating Raiders' position battles as preseason winds down]

But there’s no arguing Indy is easier to handle without Luck, who had 705 passing yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions in three games against the Raiders. Luck lost to Oakland only once, in the fateful 2016 contest in which Raiders quarterback Derek Carr broke his leg.

The Raiders’ early schedule still is brutal — there’s a game in London against Chicago the week after the Colts game — but there’s a much more winnable game on it now.

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner misses practice ahead of Jets game

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner misses practice ahead of Jets game

ALAMEDA --Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner did some light work in Wednesday's practice, conducted as a walk-through without helmets. 

He didn’t advance to more significant practice activity on Thursday -- he didn't do anything, as a matter of fact -- decreasing odds he’ll be ready to go Sunday against the New York Jets. 

The veteran doesn’t need much time to get ready, but they’ll want his hamstring right before bringing back an integral defensive cog.

Nevin Lawson occupied Joyner’s spot in the slot against the Cincinnati Bengals last time out and fared well, which gives coaches the confidence to let Joyner heal upright.

[RELATED: Doss enjoying unorthodox NFL journey]

Joyner and offensive tackle David Sharpe are the only players in jeopardy of missing this game.

Trent Brown remains limited with a knee injury, though he has played almost every week despite dealing with several ailments throughout the season.

Raiders practice report

THURSDAY
Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (knee)

Raiders ready for unique challenge of blocking Jets' Jamal Adams

Raiders ready for unique challenge of blocking Jets' Jamal Adams

ALAMEDA -- Through 10 games this season, Derek Carr's insurance has been well worth whatever premium he paid.

The Raiders' offensive line, self-dubbed "Carr Insurance," has allowed only 15 sacks on the season, the second-best mark in the NFL behind only the Dallas Cowboys' vaunted offensive front.

Oakland's favorite insurance company will face a brand new test Sunday when it deals with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Over the last two weeks, Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has unleashed star safety Jamal Adams as a blitzer, something the LSU product excels at. Adams has been a terror in the box, helping revitalize the Jets' defense while racking up five sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.

Adams now has six sacks on the season, two away from the record for a defensive back set by Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson in 2005.

Blocking Quinnen Williams, Hendry Anderson, C.J. Moseley and Co. is one thing for the Raiders' offensive line, but diagnosing a safety blitz and being able to pick it up is entirely something else. 

"Jamal Adams is one of the best players in the league. The guy is unreal," quarterback Derek Carr said Wednesday. "When you turn the tape on, you can feel his presence without being there. I remember we played him '17 here, and I remember telling him, 'Keep that intensity.' Because if you can play like that all the time -- because I was impressed by him -- I said, 'If you can play like that all the time, you're going to be one of the best to be in this league.' Now, I have nothing to do with him being one of the best in the league, but I do remember having that conversation."

Adams will come from anywhere and everywhere Sunday at the Meadowlands. After being involved in trade rumors near the trade deadline, Adams made it known he thinks he's one of the best players in the NFL. He has played like it since then, helping spark the Jets' defense in wins over the Giants and Washington.

The Raiders are aware of Adams and know they can't let him disrupt their flow.

"He's a fearless player. He's one of the most aggressive players that you will see. His playing speed is rare," head coach Jon Gruden said. "He's a linebacker playing defensive back. He's a defensive lineman playing defensive back. He's a defensive-back deluxe. He can do it all. He can rush, he can cover. He's really good. He's a sideline-to-sideline leader on that team. He's got our attention."

A blitzing defensive back might seem like something that would be easy to exploit. If the Jets are going to bring Adams down into the box and send him on blitzes, make them choose to put the other safety on either Darren Waller or Tyrell Williams and take advantage of the opposite matchup.

However, it's not as easy as it sounds, especially with a guy like Adams. The LSU product has the blessing of the Jets to freelance and go off-book when he feels is necessary.

[RELATED: Jacobs on quest to 'be better' amid stellar rookie season]

It's going to be a collaborative effort for the Raiders to keep Adams off Carr's back. The line, backs and tight ends all must be on the same page, be clear in identifying their calls and work together to neutralize the Jets' unique defensive weapon.

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs could play a critical role in keeping Carr upright. Blocking Adams is a challenge he's ready for.

"You know he's going to be a dog," Jacobs said. "He's going to come with everything he's got so you just have to match his intensity."

Adams is a game-wrecker, and the 6-4 Raiders must account for him in a game they need to win to keep pace in the AFC West.