After a forgettable loss, the Oakland Raiders head to Florida to face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Going into another road match, head coach Jack Del Rio and his staff should feel confident.
Thus far into the season, the Raiders are 3-0 on the road, but are 1-2 at home. Injuries have been hurting the Raiders at key positions, as Del Rio has had to adjust the roster to each individual contributor.
A key contributor who hasn’t played in a few weeks is Latavius Murray. The star running back has been battling some turf toe issues, which have kept his mobility sidelined. With each day comes a new hurdle to face, as Friday involved planting and cutting the foot in actual game scenarios.
The return to Florida is a homecoming for Murray, who grew up in Titusville, Florida. He attended the University of Central Florida, where he played alongside Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. The two formed a strong relationship during their college days, with Murray calling Bortles practically his roommate.
Although Murray’s status remains in the air heading into Week 7, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was positive Murray might make a return.
During a locker room interview, the 26-year-old remained humble while dealing with the injury, courtesy of Raiders.com:
“I never want to be out. I want to be in there, obviously, every time we step on the field,” Murray said. “It’s difficult, but I know it’s a part of the game and I’m ready to be back out there.”
Murray did practice on Thursday, showing signs of improvement towards a possible return. While he played through all 16 games last season, he has missed the last two games for the Raiders.
The key for Murray lies with the trainers. Often times, players will be so anxious to return they may even push through an injury to help their teammates.
While the players want to contribute and battle with their peers, a turf toe injury is one that can linger an entire season if dealt with improperly.
The 2013 sixth-round draft pick stated he has been honest with the trainers, making sure the communication is there.
Murray compared Bortles and Carr, giving insight into his two professional quarterbacks.