With Jared Veldheer out for at least half of the season due to a torn triceps, the Raiders’ coaching staff had to turn to rookie Menelik Watson to shoulder the load. Although Watson played well during the preseason, the Florida State tweaked his knee during practice heading into Week 1 and missed the matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, Watson may miss Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the converted left tackle still unable to practice according to Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times:
The Raiders opened practice Wednesday without left tackle Menelik Watson, an indication they will open with the same offensive line protecting Terrelle Pryor as they used in a season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts.
With Terrelle Pryor emerging as the team’s best option at quarterback, and arguably the team’s best chance to win games moving forward, having a decent offensive line will be crucial. Pryor does a great job of getting out of the pocket and torching the opposing defenses with his legs, but teams will likely be expecting that from the Ohio State standout in the coming weeks.
In an effort to help secure the offensive line moving forward, the Raiders signed Matt McCants last week and brought in Jack Cornell to add to the practice squad. The team will continue to await the return of Watson and Veldheer, but in the meantime will go with Khalif Barnes at left tackle while having McCants and Cornell as insurance.