The Las Vegas Raiders overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers to punch their ticket to the playoffs was one of the most exciting games of the entire NFL season and the Raiders are now ready to head to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. But unfortunately, they lost a big part of their defensive line along the way.
While his numbers may not jump out in a big way, Darius Philon has been outstanding for the Raiders during their four-game win streak to end the season. However, late against the Chargers Philon had to be carted off the field and the news, in the end, was not good.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Philon suffered a torn patellar tendon in the contest and he will be out for the rest of the season:
Raiders DL Darius Philon, who made several big plays against the Chargers on Sunday night, suffered a torn patellar tendon in the game, per source. He will start the recovery process soon and his season is over.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 11, 2022
Against the Chargers, Philon made one of the biggest plays of the night when he stuffed Austin Ekeler on a fourth-and-short in the third quarter. The Raiders would immediately turn that into points to extend their lead in their victory, but he will surely be a major loss to this Raiders defense.
Over the past three weeks, Philon had 16 total tackles with two tackles for loss and two passes defensed. He has been particularly stout against the run which is crucial with their upcoming contest against the Bengals and running back Joe Mixon.
Though quarterback Joe Burrow is the face of the Bengals, and receiver Ja’Marr Chase the rising star, it is Mixon who has been the centerpiece of that offense, ranking third in the NFL in rushing yards and fourth in touchdowns. Needless to say, containing Mixon will be absolutely necessary and the loss of Philon makes that a tougher task.
With Philon gone, it will be up to the likes of Johnathan Hankins, Soloman Thomas, and Quinton Jefferson to step up in his absence.