The injuries continue to pile up for the Oakland Raiders heading into the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts with starting left tackle Menelik Watson going down with a knee injury recently.
Fortunately, the Raiders will have a viable option at left tackle on Sunday with veteran Khalif Barnes shifting over to fill the void according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com:
Injuries to Jared Veldheer (left triceps) and rookie Menelik Watson (knee) have Barnes slated to start at left tackle in the Raiders’ season opener Sunday at Indianapolis.
Although Watson hadn’t played left tackle in his football career before the preseason, Barnes has experience at the position. Ironically enough, Barnes has played left tackle alongside new addition Tony Pashos while with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pashos will get the start at right tackle.
The major concern for the Raiders’ coaching staff moving forward is protecting the quarterback. Terrelle Pryor gives the team a different dynamic with the ability to impact the game on the ground, but Matt Flynn is strictly a pocket passer and might be a in trouble if given the start.
As of right now, Pryor appears to be the starter heading into Week 1 against the Colts, but a change might be made with Flynn potentially given the start if healthy. Flynn has been dealing with elbow tendinitis while Pryor takes first-team reps.