Raiders LT Donald Penn ruled out vs Texans: 'In tears right now'

Raiders LT Donald Penn ruled out vs Texans: 'In tears right now'

HOUSTON – Already battered and bruised, the Raiders just took another Joe Frazier shot to the gut.

Donald Penn was ruled out of Saturday’s playoff game against the host Houston Texans with a knee injury, meaning rookie quarterback Connor Cook will make his first NFL start without a Pro Bowler watching his back.

Penn got hurt in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Denver, and while he returned for that game’s final snap, he just wasn’t right. He skipped a week’s practice trying to recover in time, but the Raiders deemed him unfit to play in this important game.

Starting right tackle Menelik Watson is expected to shift to the left side, with veteran Austin Howard taking Watson’s place. Both players can produce quality, but the line is significantly weaker without Penn.

He had allowed one sack all season and ranked high among the NFL’s best run blocking tackles.

Penn started 155 consecutive regular-season games, and was excited to play in a playoff atmosphere. Most believed he would try to go, even if it meant playing through extreme pain.

The Raiders will also play without safety Nate Allen, who did not pass the NFL’s concussion protocol this week.

Quarterback Matt McGloin practiced all week and is expected to be Cook’s backup against Houston.

Missing Allen and having McGloin available was expected. Losing Penn is a blow to a team already reeling from Derek Carr’s broken fibula a few weeks back.

Several other Raiders, including safety Karl Joseph, receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree and left guard Kelechi Osemele are questionable but are expected to play.

Here’s a complete injury report for the Raiders and Texans.

Raiders Injury Report
S Nate Allen (concussion), QB Derek Carr (ankle), LT Donald Penn (knee)
OL Kelechi Osemele (ankle), LB Perry Riley Jr. (hamstring), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring), WR Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), S Karl Joseph, QB Matt McGloin (shoulder)

Texans Injury Report

QB Tom Savage (concussion), OLB John Simon (chest)

Report: Jon Gruden causing divide in Raiders front office

Report: Jon Gruden causing divide in Raiders front office

Life is not peachy in Raider Nation right now.

All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack is gone. The team is 0-2, and now, there is reportedly a divide in the front office.

That divide is being caused by none other than head coach Jon Gruden himself, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Here's how Rapoport explains it:

"The way that Jon Gruden handles personnel has caused a divide in that building. Here's why: Gruden has what has amounted to his own personnel staff, he has people like Dave Rozzano, who is Head of Football Research, who came to prominence on Twitter with several wild takes, including Jake Locker should be the #1 pick. He has essentially become Gruden's right-hand man. Gruden also has his own draft board, his own personnel board, his own people that help him make cut-ups. And then on the other side, there are the respected scouts from [General Manager] Reggie McKenzie who helped build this team from basically nothing into a playoff team and so some of those people feel Gruden has simply not listened to them. It is clear that he is listen to those in his inner circle to do a lot of things, including sign veterans and trade Khalil Mack."

Oh boy. Sounds like things could get worse in Oakland before they start to get better.

Gruden and the Raiders are in Miami to take on the Dolphins. Will he be celebrating his first win since returning to the Raiders? Or will he be walking off the field 0-3 and into a postgame press conference full of questions about this story?

NFL picks: Raiders vs. Dolphins Week 3 score predictions

NFL picks: Raiders vs. Dolphins Week 3 score predictions

The Raiders (0-2) make the long trip to South Beach to take on the Dolphins (2-0) in Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season.

Oakland had a chance to pick up its first win last week, but it squandered a fourth-quarter lead and lost on Denver kicker Brandon McManus' late field goal. Raiders coach Jon Gruden is looking for more out of his pass rush and hoping linebacker Bruce Irvin can step up.

The Dolphins are coming off a 20-12 win over the Jets in New York last weekend. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes while running back Kenyan Drake ran for 53 yards and one touchdown.

Here's how some national pundits picked the Raiders-Dolphins game,

Paul Gutierrez, Raiders 24, Dolphins 23

Cameron Wolfe, Dolphins 26, Raiders 20

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Dolphins 23, Raiders 16

Elliot Harrison, Dolphins 26, Raiders 20

Brad Weiss, Just Blog Baby: Dolphins 28, Raiders 24

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Dolphins 24, Raiders 20