Fresh off an inspiring first victory of the season over the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday, the Raiders were dealt a huge blow when they found out that starting safety Tyvon Branch has fractured his fibula and will be out indefinitely according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Oakland S Tyvon Branch suffered what Raiders say is “significant” injury thought to be fractured fibula that will sideline him indefinitely.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2013
Branch suffered the injury in the first quarter of yesterday’s game while rushing Jaguars Quarterback Chad Henne. Branch will be replaced in the lineup by either veteran Usama Young or second year man Brandian Ross.
Branch was a leader of this defense and was one of only two returning defensive starters from last season. The entire secondary will have to step up in Branch’s absence, particularly rookie CB D.J. Hayden and veteran Mike Jenkins, who spent a little time playing safety for the Dallas Cowboys last season.
Charles Woodson will also need to make some more plays, but considering he’s already making plays like this, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem for him.