Oakland Raiders: A few players to watch in preseason game vs. Rams

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Oakland Raiders
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Gareon Conley

If Gareon Conley plays tonight – and hopefully he’ll get a little time on the field – it will be the first time we’ve seen him in competitive action in a very, very long time.

The highly touted cornerback prospect came out of Ohio State, and the Raiders believed they’d found the lockdown corner that’s eluded them for so many years. And, when he was on the field last year – despite a few rookie bumps – he looked like he could be just that.

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Conley played just 92 total snaps last year, before a lingering shin injury eventually put him on the shelf, basically redshirting his rookie season.

Camp this year got off to a rough start, as a hip injury put him back on the shelf for a period of time. He healed up faster than expected though, and has deemed himself ready to go – an evaluation pending official green light from the team’s medical staff.

If Conley plays tonight, you can bet that the coaching staff – not to mention the fans – will be holding their breath whenever he’s on the field. Until he can prove that he can stay healthy – something that’s proven to be difficult for him thus far – every snap is going to be a crapshoot.

At least, for a while.

The hope is that it was a fluke thing, and he can put the injury worries – something he did not have at Ohio State – behind him once and for all.

The Raiders desperately need that. They expect him to pair with free agent add Rashaan Melvin, to help form a solid secondary – something the Raiders have not had since big hair bands and acid wash jeans were still a thing.

If he plays, it won’t be for very long. But, it could be enough to help us all let out a little bit of the breath we’ll be holding.