Arden Key

Five Raiders to watch in Week 10: Maxx Crosby must slow Chargers' run game

Five Raiders to watch in Week 10: Maxx Crosby must slow Chargers' run game

The Raiders didn’t have much time to celebrate a dramatic victory over Detroit in their return from a five-game road trip. They immediately moved on to a Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers, played on a quick turnaround that players and coaches hate.

It’s another unwelcome scheduling quirk for the Raiders, but they haven’t used any of them to excuse a poor performance. They seem determined to overcome such obstacles and show toughness and resilience that has become this season’s signature trait.

They’re a bit banged up at important spots, but the Raiders will try to improve their playoff standing against an AFC West rival with plenty of firepower and similar aspirations.

Here are five Raiders to watch heading into the final (scheduled) primetime game at Oakland Coliseum:

DE Maxx Crosby

The Raiders are a little light at defensive end with Arden Key recovering from foot surgery and Josh Mauro out with a groin issue. The fourth-round draft pick was playing a ton already but should be a three-down player against an opponent with dynamic backfield talent.

He must help slow Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler in the run game and find a way to impact quarterback Philip Rivers.

The longtime Chargers signal-caller has owned the Raiders in his career but is a pure pocket passer prone to aggressive mistakes. Putting him under duress helps coaxed him into making some that could turn tides.

Crosby is relentless and must stay vigilant going against a Chargers right tackle spot that has been substandard no matter who plays.

LT Kolton Miller

The Raiders left tackle has been excellent this season. He and Richie Incognito have paired well together blocking for the run, and he has deflected pressure as well as any NFL left tackle. He’s bigger, stronger and healthier this season, with increased confidence providing wind at his back.

Miller has parried tough pass rushers before, and must deal with a pair of excellent ones who move around the formation. Joey Bosa is on a tear and Melvin Ingram’s having another solid all-around year playing a number of different positions.

There will be times Miller has one of them straight up, and he must win as he has against other top players coming off the edge. He’s prepared for that challenge and could get some help with Trent Brown apparently healthy and ready to anchor the right tackle spot.

The Raiders need another strong, mistake-free day from their left tackle to stay engaged in what should be a close contest down the stretch.

WR Tyrell Williams

Players always relish playing an old team. Williams admits there will be extra juice in this one after spending his previous four NFL seasons with the Chargers.

Williams’ case of plantar fasciitis is largely behind him, setting the stage for a big performance against defensive backs he practiced against for years.

It was always clear Williams would leave the Chargers in free agency – they couldn’t have paid his open-market freight – but he’ll still want to prove to his old team that he’s a true No. 1 receiver capable of taking control of a game especially if tight end Darren Waller remains a defensive focal point.

Williams has done damage downfield, with Carr well protected and comfortable working the ball downfield. Taking big chunks is possible if Carr has time. If not, Williams needs to be an available intermediate route runner to keep the Raiders on schedule and prolonging drives.

DT Johnathan Hankins

The Raiders don’t want to face a balanced Chargers attack. That one’s dangerous. They need to create long third downs and obvious passing situations to increase the odds of creating stops and takeaways.

That effort starts in the middle with Hankins and the Raiders run defense.

CB Daryl Worley

Worley survived a scare this week, when an MRI showed no tearing in his strained Achilles’ tendon. That makes him a go for Thursday night, an important fact for a struggling Raiders pass defense that made a few key stops Sunday against the Lions.

Worley’s acrobatic, one-handed interception in the end zone was a real highlight, especially after he got beat several times earlier in the first half.

The Raiders need him to be consistently reliable from his outside cornerback spot, where he has played despite talk he could operate some from a safety spot or a rover in the secondary.

[RELATED: Raiders wearing 1970 throwback uniforms on TNF vs. Chargers]

This finally might be a game where he plays such a role, with big-bodied tight end Hunter Henry always being a threat inside the numbers. The Raiders have struggled against tight ends and Worley could help there, or he could stick outside and deal with Mike Williams and Kennan Allen when they’re on his side.

Either way, the Raiders need Worley to provide stable, quality coverage to minimize the damage done by the Chargers' potent air attack.

Raiders injury report: Defensive end thin with Arden Key, Josh Mauro out


Raiders injury report: Defensive end thin with Arden Key, Josh Mauro out

The Raiders are low on defensive linemen. Arden Key (foot) and Josh Mauro (groin) were ruled out of Thursday’s game against the L.A. Chargers on the team’s official injury report, Key will be out a lot longer than that leaving just three healthy defensive ends.

The Silver and Black could roll with that trio, seeing Ferrell and Crosby playing most snaps with Mayowa in relief, or call up Kendall Donnerson from the practice squad.

A heavy rotation’s typically employed along the defensive front, though that would be lessened in this instance if the Raiders stand pat against the Chargers. Mayowa has been efficient as a situation pass rusher, while Ferrell and Crosby have had some moments against the run and pass. Losing Mauro hurts the run defense especially, and the Raiders

We know the defensive line is down some key numbers. The Raiders certainly hope the offensive line isn’t in a similar spot with Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown are formally questionable for this game.

Hudson wasn’t close to returning this week, though it’s uncertain whether he can play the Chargers or could use the extended downtime to best prepare for the home stretch. Trent Brown hurt his knee Sunday against Detroit and was done after a brief return to action where he wasn’t himself. An MRI showed no significant damage, and Brown was able to participate in Tuesday’s walkthrough.

Andre James struggled some in his first start at center. David Sharpe held his own on the right, but Brown is needed with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram looming off the edges.

[RELATED: Williams continues No. 1 receiver quest vs. Chargers]

Here’s the injury report for Thursday night’s game.


DE Josh Mauro (groin)
DE Arden Key (foot)

WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
RT Trent Brown (knee)

DT Cortez Broughton (illness)
DT Justin Jones (shoulder)

WR Geremy Davis (hamstring)
RB Justin Jackson (calf)
S Roderic Teamer (groin)

LB Denzel Perryman (knee)
OT Sam Tevi (knee)
NT Brandon Mebane (knee)


Raiders injury report: Arden Key to miss significant time with broken foot

Raiders injury report: Arden Key to miss significant time with broken foot

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders are banged up without much time to recover before Thursday night’s game against the L.A. Chargers.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said three players were set for MRIs on Monday, and a source said the results were mixed.

Further testing confirmed Raiders fears that defensive end Arden Key had suffered a broken foot. He's expected to miss significant time, a real setback for a second-year pro who's starting to finish sacks and make positive strides. He had sacks in back-to-back games, including a third-down takedown in Sunday's victory over the Lions.

The news was better for star right tackle Trent Brown. His MRI showed no significant damage, and there's a chance he could play against the Chargers. He could be questionable for that game, though that won't be known until Wednesday's injury report is released.

Cornerback Daryl Worley has a strained Achilles’ tendon that is not torn. Worley had an MRI but should be OK moving forward, though the quick turnaround puts his status in some question. 

Center Rodney Hudson missed the Lions game with an ankle sprain, and the Raiders aren’t sure if he’ll be able to play against the Chargers. He practiced Friday and was active some in pre-game warmups but ultimately was rendered inactive.

“I don’t know how close he was. He gave it everything he could,” Gruden said of Hudson. “I don’t know his status for this game, either. I’ll cross my fingers. He just couldn’t push off [the injured ankle].”

Players were given Monday off, but the team had to submit an estimated participation report anyway. Nicholas Morrow showed up there with a groin injury.

Also, the Raiders formally activated cornerback Isaiah Johnson off injured reserve. Linebacker Brandon Marshall was waived in a corresponding move. The veteran was back with the team for less than a week. Fellow new linebacker Will Compton was activated over him and played defense and special teams.

[RELATED: Report: Raiders work out Swearinger for secondary help]

Here’s the estimated participation report submitted by the team:

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
DE Arden Key (foot)
LB Nicholas Morrow (groin)
CB Daryl Worley (ankle)

Limited practice
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
C Andre James (ankle)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
S Erik Harris (illness)
DT Johnathan Hankins (foot)