The Las Vegas Raiders were able to start the 2023 season right when they took down the Denver Broncos in Week 1.
The Raiders showed that the offseason hype was legitimate as they moved the ball well enough, as well as kept the Broncos offense mostly in check. Jimmy Garoppolo was solid in his debut for the silver and black, as well as Jakobi Meyers, who proved to be a key part of the passing attack.
Meyers was the star of the Las Vegas offense as he reeled in nine receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. The two touchdowns marked the first time he scored twice in a game in his career.
However, Meyers took a hit to the head during the last drive of the game and was subsequently ruled out for Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
“Las Vegas Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers , who suffered a concussion in the season opener, will not play Sunday at the Buffalo Bills.”
Without Meyers, Josh McDaniels said that everyone else on the team will have to step up:
“I mean, Jakobi’s a really good football player, and so, if he’s not available, then everybody has to step up and give themselves great opportunities to produce, and that’s a good thing for them,” McDaniels said. “And that’s what the National Football League’s about. We won’t have any more weeks where we don’t have somebody that’s banged up.
“So, the season has begun, and the injuries will happen as nature takes its course and other people have opportunities here to go out there and produce, and that’s what we expect them to do. We’re excited for those opportunities for those guys.”
Losing Meyers feels like a significant blow, as he was able to win his matchups while Davante Adams was blanketed on the other side. Meyers’ absence means more targets for Adams, but it could also lead to more opportunities for players like Hunter Renfrow and Michael Mayer as well.
Perhaps McDaniels could also look to target Josh Jacobs more, though the likely plan is to utilize the other pass-catching options more. The Raiders are in for a tough test as the Bills are coming off a loss and will surely be looking to make a statement on their home field.