Raiders place rookie linebacker Tanner Muse on injured reserve

The Las Vegas Raiders have placed rookie linebacker Tanner Muse on injured reserve.

The Las Vegas Raiders lost two of their three third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft over the past few days — only in two very different ways.

Rookie running back Lynn Bowden was shipped to the Miami Dolphins in a puzzling trade this past weekend after a difficult training camp. But Bowden wasn’t the only rookie who struggled in camp.

Fellow third-round pick Tanner Muse had a very difficult summer. And ahead of the regular season, he’s been officially placed on injured reserve with what is being described as a toe injury.

It should be noted that the injured reserve works a little differently this year. Teams are now permitted to return an unlimited number of players on top of the fact that players are only required to remain on IR for three weeks.

That means that the IR will likely be used as more or a temporary stashing tool as opposed to a long-term reserve list. That’s good news for players like Muse who aren’t suffering from major injuries, but don’t need to be taking up a roster spot while they’re sidelined.

And in reality, Muse can use the extra few weeks off.

Tanner Muse has struggled early on in his Raiders career.

The former Clemson standout struggled throughout much of training camp making the transition from safety to linebacker. Because of this, he wasn’t going to be asked to star early on anyway and it’s likely we don’t see him in a starting role in 2020.

That’s perfectly fine because of the additions of Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Raekwon McMillan. The acquisition of McMillan, in particular, will allow Muse to focus on a special-teams role in his rookie season while continuing to develop as a linebacker.

It’s been an inauspicious start to Muse’s career while Bowden was essentially kicked out of town with the Raiders’ admitting mistake. If not for the emergence of wide receiver Bryan Edwards, that entire third round would be looking like a disaster for Mike Mayock and company.

There’s still plenty of time for Muse to turn things around and make some improvements as the year goes on.

But it certainly hasn’t been an ideal start for the young linebacker.