If there is one team in the NFL that needs its players to stay healthy and participate in training camp, it’s the Oakland Raiders. With so many new faces and a large mountain to climb, they must utilize every opportunity to play together and grow as a team.
Unfortunately, injuries are getting in the way, and today’s victim was second round draft pick Menelik Watson.
The offensive tackle, who is nursing a calf injury that he suffered days before camp, re-aggravated the injury on Wednesday. Frustrated, he lost his temper, screaming and punching a bench before sitting out the rest of practice.
It also means that he will not play in Friday’s preseason opener against the Cowboys.
“This is not the way I planned on going through my first training camp,” Watson told CSN Bay Area. “I haven’t even taken a snap yet. It’s very frustrating, especially after playing well this spring in OTAs. I wanted to get out there and get on the field and build on that.”
Dennis Allen senses the predicament, and talked about how Watson has a lot of catching up to do.
“He’s way behind,” Allen said, via the Associated Press. “He went through the offseason program, but here we are in the second week of camp and he hasn’t seen a down yet. He’s got to get healthy and get back out here.”
The Raiders are also dealing with other injuries. As of earlier this week, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, Lamarr Houston, Pat Sims, Vance Walker, Sio Moore, D.J. Hayden and Josh Cribbs were either limited or did not practice at all.
Injuries are a part of the game, but for the Raiders, they simply cannot afford to have them.