The news continues to get worse for the Oakland Raiders in terms of their injury situation on the offensive line. Rookie Menelik Watson, the new starting left tackle, injured his knee during practice on Wednesday according to Vic Tafur or the San Francisco Chronicle:
New starting left tackle Menelik Watson tweaked his knee in practice on Wednesday. Coach Dennis Allen didn’t know the extent of the injury, but said if the rookie is out, the Raiders would slide Khalif Barnes over to left tackle Sunday and pop in newly-signed veteran Tony Pashos at right tackle.
Once starter Jared Veldheer went down with a torn triceps, the offensive line had suffered a major blow with no clearcut solution for the team moving forward. Veldheer is by far the team’s best player on the offensive line and huge loss for a team that already struggled to protect their quarterback.
Fortunately, once Watson was able to return from injury recently, the rookie was able to step in and play well enough to secure the starting job at left tackle moving forward. Free agent addition, Alex Barron, was unable to cut it during his short stint with the team forcing the Raiders’ coaching staff to go with a rookie up front.
With Watson potentially unable to go for Week 1, the team may be forced to go with Khalif Barnes making the protection for Terrelle Pryor and/or Matt Flynn that much weaker heading into the matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.