The Oakland Raiders are looking to go 2-0 for the first time since 2002 on Sunday and it looks like they may have to do so without two of their offensive linemen.
Starting right tackle Menelik Watson and backup tackle Matt McCants were both injured this past Sunday in the Raiders’ come-from-behind win over the New Orleans Saints. Watson left with a groin injury and McCants with a knee injury. The line was shuffled but was able to keep Derek Carr off his back and lead the charge in the big win.
According to Vic Tafur of the SF Chronicle, both tackles are not expected to play against the Atlanta Falcons:
As expected, Menelik Watson and McCants are out. (Official word doubtful). It’s Howard backed up by Alexander at right tackle. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 16, 2016
It’s a tough break for Watson, who was the team’s second round pick in 2013, as he had finally been healthy enough to earn a starting role. Watson should be able to return sooner rather than later; however, it’s never been easy for the four-year tackle. McCants, considered the second tackle off the bench, was pushed into action because of an injury to backup Austin Howard that left him inactive.
Howard missed the season opener with an ankle issue but it appears that he will be healthy and the starting right tackle on Sunday. He will join Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Donald Penn. Hudson and Jackson were listed on the team’s injury report as ‘Questionable’ but participated in practice and will be ready to go.
The Raiders’ offensive line was expected to be a strength heading into the season but they will need health in order for that to be the case.