Arden Key

NFL rumors: Raiders DE Arden Key out multiple weeks with knee injury

NFL rumors: Raiders DE Arden Key out multiple weeks with knee injury

The Raiders left London with a big 24-21 Week 5 win over the Bears, but lost one of their young defensive players while doing so. 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Raiders defensive end Arden Key strained his patellar tendon Sunday and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. The team is expected to work out players at his position this week during their bye. 

Key, a third-round draft pick last year, has had a slow start to the season. He has played in all five games for the 3-2 Raiders, but only has one assisted tackle and two quarterback hits.

Coach Jon Gruden called for more production from the second-year pro a few weeks ago. 

“We have got to get more out of Arden. I’ve said that for long enough,” Gruden said after the Raiders' Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. “Arden, if you are listening, we got to get you going."

[RELATED: Raiders rookies shine bright in wild London win over Bears]

If Key is to step it up this season for the Silver and Black, it won't be for quite some time.

Source: Raiders' Arden Key fined $21K for roughing passer in Week 3

Source: Raiders' Arden Key fined $21K for roughing passer in Week 3

Raiders edge rusher Arden Key just picked up the first fine of his two-year NFL career. 

The NFL fined Key $21,056 for a roughing the passer penalty against Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in Week 3, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area's Scott Bair. 

Key, 23, played in just 18 percent of the Raiders' defensive snaps in Week 3. His snap count has decreased in each of the last two weeks, and the 2018 third-round draft pick has just one assisted tackle and two QB hits through three weeks this season. 

[RELATED: Why Raiders rookie Ferrell is one to watch Sunday vs. Colts]

While his pockets are lighter, Key could play more in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts. The Vikings largely worked out of their base package in Week 3, thanks in part to the presence of NFL-leading rusher Dalvin Cook in their backfield. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett has attempted at least 27 passes in each of his three starts this season, meaning Key should have more pass-rushing opportunities. 

When Key does, he'll want to put the fine and his slow start behind him.

Five Raiders to watch in Week 3: All eyes on Josh Jacobs vs. Vikings

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AP

Five Raiders to watch in Week 3: All eyes on Josh Jacobs vs. Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS – The Raiders start a brutal stretch of road games on Sunday in Minnesota, and find themselves labeled underdogs right off the bat against the Vikings.

Oakland has the talent and game-day coaching to earn an upset at U.S. Bank Stadium, but these five Raiders must make key contributions to make it happen.

RB Josh Jacobs

The rookie running back has been effective when give the chance, churning out tough yards and taking chunks working in space. The Alabama product can do everything well, from rushing inside while making smart cuts to zone reads. He can be effective out of the backfield as well, and this might be a game Jacobs can control both in terms of time of possession and steady scoring.

The more attention Jacobs draws, the easier life will be on a passing game heavily reliant on Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. Jacobs had 24 touches in a season-opening win over the Denver Broncos, and needs an equally heavy workload on Sunday. He has been dealing with an illness making its way through the locker room – coach Jon Gruden didn’t like Jacobs announcing that fact on social media – but must persevere for the Raiders to beat a tough NFC team on the road.

DT Johnathan Hankins

Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook has been the NFL’s most productive running back through two weeks. He has 265 yards and three touchdowns, gaining an impressive 6.5 yards per carry.

Cook will square off against a surprisingly effective Raiders run defense ranked fifth in the NFL with 63 rushing yards allowed per game. The Silver and Black have been tough to run against thus far, thanks in large part to Johnathan Hankins’ excellent interior line play.

Hankins has been collapsing plays on the inside with regularity, allowing others to fly downhill and make plays on the ball carrier. He lately has been playing most every down, which is a rarity on the defensive front, and the 27-year-old has proven impactful against the run and pass.

“He’s a load in there, and he can move,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said this week. “He’s a big, athletic guy who’s playing some on third down for us now, so he’s shown in the training camp that he can rush. He’s just not this big nose who can play the run and rush some.”

WR Hunter Renfrow

The Raiders need receiving targets not named Tyrell Williams or Darren Waller to take some heat off the top two guys. Renfrow’s certainly capable of creating quick separation and making tough catches. He has to prove quarterback-friendly and take advantage of single coverage inside to keep the chains moving.

If Renfrow’s especially impactful on third downs, the Raiders can be more threatening than they were after the first quarter last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. He only has six catches for 43 yards on 11 targets, which isn’t efficient or productive enough. The Clemson product must do better in Week 3.

DE Arden Key

The second-year pro has not followed a solid training camp and preseason with production in games that actually count. Key’s snap count has dipped a bit, but the LSU product must be more disruptive for the Raiders pass rush to reach another gear. The Raiders have done a good job stopping the run and setting up pass-rush opportunities that aren’t being maximized.

Key has the talent to make big plays -- if he can find ways to finish.

“He’s getting close each and every week,” Guenther said. “It’s going to come. It’s a lot like turnovers, everyone is saying, ‘Hey, you need turnovers!’ One of the things I’ve always said is, if you’re in position and you’re doing the things the right way, turnovers and sacks and those types of things come in bunches, so don’t press. Just keep working your techniques, keep working your moves and get off the ball.”

[RELATED: Is 'The Catch' or 'The Immaculate Reception' more iconic?]

C Rodney Hudson

The Vikings have a savvy, talented defensive front capable of causing trouble, one the Raiders offensive line must manhandle against the run and pass despite some injury issues. Trent Brown and Denzelle Good are both questionable heading into this contest, so Hudson must orchestrate the line well regardless of who is playing. Richie Incognito returns after a two-game suspension, so Hudson must integrate him well and assist whomever lines up at right guard.

The Raiders offense falls apart without solid line play, so Hudson must play like the elite talent he is to keep the line going strong.