Raiders’ rookie Menelik Watson misses practice, questionable vs. Colts
The Raiders have only two other healthy offensives tackles on their 53-man roster in Khalif Barnes and new acquisition Tony Pashos. Raiders coach Dennis Allen did not provide information on the extent of Watson’s injury. But if he is anyhow ruled out for the season opener, then the Raiders could move Barnes from right tackle to the left side, which will also give Pashos an opportunity to join the starting lineup.
It makes an interesting situation for purported starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who again faces question at blindside the Raiders previously went with Watson to fill in for Jared Veldheer, who earlier went down with torn triceps and will likely sideline him for at least half the season. So, Pryor will have to rely on his legs even more under the current circumstances against the Colts.
“I don’t know how significant it is, I mean, obviously he injured himself yesterday in practice and wasn’t able to go in practice today,” Allen said. “We’ll find out more tomorrow as far as whether or not he’ll be able to go in the game. But it is what it is and we’ll know more tomorrow, probably.”
Watson has never taken a snap at the position and missed nearly all of training camp with a calf injury. But returning from the non-football injury list in mid-August, Watson was had an impressive performance in the preseason finale against the Seahawks, so the Raiders started feeling confident about him taking over for Veldheer.
The 26-year-old Veldheer currently remains on the 53-man roster, since the Raiders have not yet placed him on the injured reserve list, with the designation to return. But if and when Veldheer goes on that list, that should open a roster spot for the Raiders to sign an additional player. However, Allen said he will not go into roster specifics the Raiders “might” make if Watson’s injury status continues to look down; but it’s clear that the team needs to add depth at offensive tackle.
“We probably would have to look at potentially bringing somebody up off the practice squad,” Allen noted. “That’s a situation that we could consider.”
The Raiders also have first-year tackle Matt McCants on the practice squad.