By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, September 5th, 2009 at 11:14 am in Oakland Raiders.
As the Raiders work on cutting their roster to 53, they must sort out the physical condition of their injured players and determine the best course of action.
If it’s a player who was on the bubble anyway, they might simply be “waived injured” and receive a parting gift of some cash for their troubles.
If it’s someone like wide receiver Chaz Schilens, who won’t be ready for the opener but is being counted on not long after, it’s not an issue at all.
Anyone placed on injured reserve is done for the season. The Raiders have no players eligible for reserve/PUP, which is only for those who came into training camp injured and never came off training camp PUP.
The following were injured Raiders players as they played their last game against Seattle:
– Schilens. Nothing to discuss here.
– RB Louis Rankin. Cable said after the game he didn’t finish because of an ankle injury. Reporters saw him with his knee being iced. If the injury is serious enough, he stays a Raider by being placed on I.R. but can’t play this year, nor can he attend meetings or practice with the team. If healthy enough, Rankin can be cut and brought back to the practice squad, but would be available to teams wanting to claim him for the 53-man roster.
– RB Justin Fargas, hamstring. Couldn’t have faced Seattle had it been a regular season game, but coach Tom Cable says the opener is not an issue. If there was any thought of trading Fargas, however, the hamstring complicates things. How much would you give up for a running back with a history of collisions and a bad hamstring?
– S Michael Huff, quad. Don’t know if it’s a bruise or a strain because it’s never been specified. But Huff has missed time of late and would seem to be out of the running to challenge Hiram Eugene at free safety. Could be the Raiders are still a year away from giving up on Huff, because frankly, there doesn’t appear to be anyone on the roster seizing the moment to push him off.
– S Mike Mitchell, hamstring. Supposedly will be on the field this week. Had things come along very slowly, or if he had a serious setback, an Arman Shields situation could have developed. The Raiders didn’t think Shields was that badly injured last year, but put him on I.R. anyway. As it turned out, Shields was never ready.
– T Khalif Barnes, broken ankle. Should be back by Week 2 or 3. The Raiders have no viable replacement until then if Mario Henderson goes down.
– C John Wade stinger. Hasn’t practiced exactly once since the Dallas game, then was out again the next day. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders are watching the cut list for centers.
– LB Kirk Morrison, elbow. Insists he’ll be ready for the opener, which is exactly what you’d expect him to do. Cable seems to think he’ll be ready as well. Doesn’t appear as if a trade or position switch to strong side linebacker is in the works.
– LB Isaiah Ekejiuba, shoulder. Has had shoulder issues before, so Raiders simply shut him down for the preseason. After being made the highest paid pure special teams player in the league during the offseason, his job is secure.
– S Rashad Baker, stinger. Baker is a player Cable likes because he performed well toward the end of the season and particularly in the last two wins, games that earned the coach his job. Davis isn’t quite as enamored, as evidenced by the fact the Raiders made no attempt to sign Baker when he became a free agent. He’s already had a concussion and a stinger since being cut by Philadelphia.
– Here’s a link to a story by Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post, a former Packers excecutive, on players who suddenly become “injured” at cutdown time.