Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, out at least eight weeks

Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, out at least eight weeks

ALAMEDA -- Marshawn Lynch was set to miss a month or more with a groin injury that he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in London.

Now the Raiders running back is guaranteed to miss eight weeks -- and maybe the rest of the season.

The Silver and Black placed Lynch on injured reserve Monday afternoon. They could designate him to return off IR in time to play the season’s final home game, a Christmas Eve tilt in primetime, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Maybe. If he’s ready and physically able and wants to play one final game in front of his hometown. The Oakland native is in the final year of his contract.

Lynch has retired before, following the 2015 season, and didn’t come back because he missed the sport. He wanted to play in Oakland while the city he loves still has an NFL team, to help bring attention to charitable efforts in the community.

He will never be a Las Vegas Raider, but it’s possible the enigmatic rusher will return in 2019 on a new deal. It's just as likely Lynch will walk off into the sunset. 

There’s a small prospect he will return this season, not that the team is going anywhere after a disastrous 1-5 start. Lynch can practice with the team after six weeks and play after eight.

Doug Martin will assume Lynch’s role as the Raiders' featured back, with Jalen Richard being the primary third-down back. DeAndre Washington also should be active for the first time this season.

The Raiders can designate two players to return off IR. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis and offensive tackle Donald Penn also are candidates to come back after being on injured reserve.

Lynch was acquired in a trade with the Seahawks before the 2017 season, after which he came out of retirement and signed with the Silver and Black. He has 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns on 297 carries as an Oakland Raider. Lynch found dominant form this season, and was running with trademark violence even at age 32.

Raiders' leaky defense has no answers for Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Raiders' leaky defense has no answers for Aaron Rodgers, Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers might be the most talented quarterback of all time. Green Bay’s signal caller certainly is in the conversation, a first-ballot hall-of-famer capable of making any throw at any speed.

He’s most always awesome, but rarely better than he was Sunday in a 42-21 victory over the Raiders, who could not slow him down despite their best efforts. Rodgers finished the day completing 25-of-31 passes for 429 yards, five touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He also ran for another score.

“He’s one of the best of all time,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “He made a couple of great audibles. He made a couple of great throws. He’s tough as hell, man. We hit him a few times and it didn’t bother him one bit. He did a great job, but we have to play better defensively. There’s no excuse giving up big plays like that.”

The Raiders gave up a ton. Nine, in fact, went for 21 yards or more. Three of them were touchdowns. Talk about explosive. 

Gruden’s right. That’s inexcusable.

Defensive linemen will say they didn’t get enough pressure up front. They hit Rodgers hard a few times, but Rodgers largely had time to slice and dice the secondary. The defensive backs say they have to cover better, communicate better and focus better.

They weren’t interested in a simple tip of the cap to someone who’ll one day wear a gold jacket. They looked inward and believe deep down they should’ve done better.

“He’s a great quarterback and was able to will his team to a win,” safety Karl Joseph said. “He’s so smart. He’s quickly able to see what defense you’re in. He can read your cards and make the smart decisions. He can run and create and buy time and can make all the throws.

“He is a great quarterback and runs a great team, but I think we beat ourselves today.”

Most every cornerback was victimized at one point, but Gareon Conley had a particularly frustrating day defending the run and pass. Without watching tape it was tough to pinpoint exactly what went wrong allowing so many big plays.

“It was a combination of things,” Joseph said. “We just have to play better overall as a unit.”

The Raiders were upset by the result but promised to be resilient and grow from this defeat. They’ll have to do so quickly with DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans coming up next week.

[RELATED: Rodgers had historic day in dismantling Raiders' defense]

“It’s frustrating because we know we have talent in the secondary and the front seven,” safety Erik Harris said. “We just have to eliminate explosive plays and have better eyes on our man. The biggest disappointment is that we did things that were uncharacteristic. Whenever you lose a game like this you have to examine why did that and why we were playing like we know we can.

"Everybody’s positive in the locker room. We’re going to learn, improve and do better next week.”

Derek Carr has flashbacks after fumble through end zone in Raiders' loss


Derek Carr has flashbacks after fumble through end zone in Raiders' loss

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Derek Carr surveyed the Packers defensive backfield for a beat but couldn’t find anyone open. The Raiders quarterback rolled to his right and saw a path to the end zone. He took off running, with a defender angling hard to cut him off. Contact was coming soon, so Carr dove with an arm outstretched, reaching for the pylon.

The ball slipped from his grasp just before Carr’s knee hit the ground, thrust threw the corner of the end zone and out of bounds.

Raiders fans know all too well what happens next.

Touchback. Disaster. The clear pivot point in a damaging Raiders loss.

This one ended up a 42-24 loss to the Packers. If that sequence sounds hauntingly familiar, it should. That’s also how the Raiders lost to Dallas back in 2017, with Carr losing possession in identical fashion, again reaching out to the right pylon.

Carr said after the Cowboys loss that he would make the same play again in the future. Sunday might’ve been the last time he executes it like that.

"Everyone was patting me on the side of the head like, ‘you’re just trying to make a play,’ and I understand that,” Carr said. “Because of the result as a fumble, it’s the Packers’ ball and that sucks. In that moment, it’s so hard because you’re right there and you’re playing a tough team where you need all the points you can get. It’s so hard not to try. That’s everything I’ve even been about my entire life, is to try."

Carr knows the technique must be different next time.

“I’ve got to go with two hands, right?” Carr said. “Trying to extend to with one hand isn’t smart. That’s stupid. But, at the end of the day, it’s really hard to, in that situation, while you’re running, I’m not thinking about anything else but getting in the end zone. But it sucks, man. It’s my fault. I let my team down on that.”

The Raiders allowed that mistake to snowball and eventually avalanche. The defense took responsibility for what happened next. They let Aaron Rodgers go 80 yards and score before the end of the half and run another one win to start the third quarter.

The Raiders were 2 yards from a lead when Carr fumbled and were down 18 points before his next meaningful snap.

Again, disaster.

“That was a huge sequence in the game, but that’s not all on Derek,” safety Erik Harris said. “We play complementary football, and we as a defense needed to pick the team up at the end of the second half. We didn’t do that. We have to do better in those situations.”

Carr’s fumble will be the focal point of that terrible, no-good, very bad series of unfortunate events. He instantly had flashbacks to the Dallas game two years ago and recalled it after this loss.

“It’s so tough as a competitor to just run out at the 2-yard line and not try to go for the end zone,” Carr said. “If you score, everyone’s high-fiving you. If you fumble, everyone tells you to do it better. I understand that I dropped the ball and I messed up. I have to get better at using two hands. I have to practice that. That’s completely my fault.”

[RELATED: What we learned in Raiders' blowout loss vs. Packers]

Head coach Jon Gruden obviously didn’t like the result, but he didn’t mind the hustle.

“He’s trying to give great effort and lay out to score,” Gruden said. “The ball slipped out of his hands. If he had scored, we’d all feel pretty good. Unfortunately, it was 28-10 the next time we got the ball. That was a big play in the game and, defensively, we gave up a big play at the end of the first half and a big play to start the third quarter. We can’t play like that. We just can’t do it. Credit to them.”