Oakland Raiders Menelik Watson might be forced to return sooner than later.

10/31/13 in NFL   |   Mia781   |   953 respect

May 20, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Menelik Watson (71) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsOakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson came back to the field two times after his injury when he was deemed recovered but both times fate would have it otherwise, forcing off the field for one reason or the other. It has been the same at practice. His calf and knee are bothering him constantly so he has been unsteady at the practice as well.  Returning to practice on Wednesday, he had a new more careful routine for practice but the resolve hadn’t change to return stronger.

“I’m taking each day as its own. Right now I’m just feeling blessed to be on the field. My mindset is still focused on the game plan. In terms of the injury, I don’t want to stress myself unnecessarily,” Watson said. “Last time I came back I was so worked up and all I could think was ‘get in the lineup,’ ‘get in the lineup,’ ‘get in the lineup.’ I put a lot of stress on myself.”

Even though he plans to return when he is fully recovered, it would seem that the Raiders would want otherwise and would roll the dice again with him. The Raiders wish to incorporate him as soon as they can into the play as their offensive lineup is already deficient on able bodied players.

Watson is the only reserve tackle as right tackle Tony Pashos will not be returning for now. Coach Dennis Allen said that they might bring him back in the fold sooner than he would want.

“With some of our depth issues up front, he may be forced into action sooner than we would normally want,” Allen said. “We have to evaluate how he goes throughout practice, and how he progresses both mentally and physically.”

Watson will have to be ready to come at left and right tackle if he has sufficiently recovered. This means that he will have to train mentally as well to step in for the Raiders when even he thinks he might not be ready.

“The hope is that I’ll be ready to go 100 percent on Friday and see what happens from there. Right now, it’s about earning the trust of the coaches, so they know that I’ll be ready when they need me,” Watson said.

“It kind of sucks for everybody, because the coaches see me work and think I’ll be ready. Then I get excited about the prospect and then my teammates do. It’s frustrating when you can’t finish.”
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