An impressive rookie season guard-turned-center Stefen Wisniewski has gotten even more impressive considering the circumstances.
Although Wisniewski played every game and didn’t turn up on an injury report for a shoulder injury, it turns out he was playing with a torn labrum incurred during training camp.
It’s all a bit mysterious, with Wisniewski a willing contributor. Asked which shoulder was injured, Wisniewski said, “I’ll leave it up to your imagination.’’
Following the season, Wisniewski had what coach Dennis Allen termed a “procedure,’’ although the surgery was major enough that he won’t line up at center and get any action until the Raiders report for training camp in Napa on July 29.
“It’s getting a little boring just standing around and watching,’’ Wisniewski said. “I’m getting a lot of mental reps, but I’ve got to get healthy first. It looks like I’ll be more than good to go by camp.’’
Wisniewski was originally drafted to play center, with the Raiders opting to move him to left guard in order to get Samson Satele on the field. He started at center in place of Satele in a Thursday night win over San Diego, and is looking forward to the position switch.
“It’s nice to kind of be the boss of the O-line in there, making calls,’’ Wisniewski said. “You get to be in charge, which is nice. It’s a good position. You’ve got to be athletic, you’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to be tough. I like it a lot.’’
Wisniewski feels the switch to a zone blocking system fits in with the skill set of the linemen.
“You’ve got to be able to move,’’ Wisniewski said. “If you look at our O-line, that’s one thing we can do across the board. We can move, we can run, we’re athletic. I think it’s going to work for us, especially with the speed we’ve got at running back.’’