Oakland Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer has suffered a torn triceps muscle and will undergo surgery that will likely end his season, head coach Dennis Allen announced.
There are certain players that the Raiders simply cannot afford to lose, given that they are a team with so many new faces and unproven talent. One of those players is offensive tackle Veldheer, and unfortunately, it looks like he will be out for a while.
Veldheer had a second MRI done on his triceps on Tuesday. The first one, which was on August 3, came back negative, but Veldheer still felt uncomfortable during practices.
Recovery from this kind of injury takes up to a year, so expect Veldheer to be out for a while.
Losing Veldheer really puts the Raiders in a hole. He is considered to be their best offensive lineman, and some believe he is their best player, despite his role. He has started all 16 games for the Raiders for the past three seasons, and has been a model of consistency.
Alex Barron, who the Raiders signed this offseason, will now be the starting left tackle. A former first round pick of the Rams, Barron started 74 games for St. Louis over five seasons.
He was traded to Dallas in 2010, and signed with the Saints the following year. However, injuries forced him to miss all of 2011, and Barron did not play at all last season after being released by the Seahawks in training camp.
Barron is undoubtedly a significant downgrade from Veldheer, who was heading into a contract year and apparently ready to take his game to a Pro Bowl-level.
For the Raiders, who have already been bombarded with injuries left and right, this is yet another blow to a team that can’t afford any more setbacks.