Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Nine

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell (23) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

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Latavius Murray, Rodney Hudson, Charles Woodson, Amari Cooper, and Clive Walford are among the key names that went down with injuries during the course of the game. Cooper, Walford, and of course Woodson, all returned to the game. Murray and Walford suffered more serious injuries and their status is currently up in the air.

Murray was in the midst of a very nice, productive game for the Raiders. He’d been doing a good job of gashing Pittsburgh’s defense to the tune of 96 yards on 17 carries – a healthy average of 5.6 yards per carry – when he took a hard hit from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell. Does Mitchell deliver any other kind of hit?

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  • Mitchell dropped Murray causing a fumble that the Steelers recovered. But even worse for the Raiders was the news that Murray had sustained a concussion. He’s currently in the early stages of the NFL’s concussion protocol and HC Jack Del Rio said that he’s responding well and looks to be on track to return this Sunday against Minnesota. Which, if it breaks that way, is good news for an Oakland rushing attack that needs him.

    Rodney Hudson’s situation is a little more difficult to determine. Late in the third quarter, Hudson limped off the field. X-rays were negative and he has apparently suffered a sprained ankle. What is currenlty not known is the severity of the sprain. If it is a high ankle sprain, it’s an injury that could keep the anchor of that offensive line on the sidelines for a few weeks. If it’s not a high sprain but is still severe enough, it could limit his effectiveness in the coming weeks.

    When the Raiders return to the practice field on Wednesday, it will bear watching to see whether or not Hudson is a participant. Though if he isn’t a full participant in practice, it could be that he is being held out for precautionary reasons and possibly not an alarming sign. But if he misses practice all week, it may be an indication that he’s not healthy enough to play.

    If that is the case and Hudson cannot go against the Vikings, the team will likely turn to Tony Bergstrom to replace him – which is not an ideal situation. To say the least.

    The Raiders can’t afford to lose any of those key players, so it will bear watching how practice shakes out this week and keeping tabs on who participates and who doesn’t.

    Next: The Shoe Is On The Other Foot