The Oakland Raiders do not have a ton of players who the team can really rely on. In fact, one could argue that there are only a handful of guys on the roster that are truly indispensable when it comes to the success of the team. One of those guys is starting left tackle Jared Veldheer.
Entering his fourth year out of Hillsdale College, Veldheer has gone from unknown small college behemoth to NFL standout in his relatively young career. Now, however, it appears the Raiders will be without Veldheer most, if not all of the season after it was announced that he has an injury that could be season ending.
Veldheer felt soreness in his arm before the first preseason game but an MRI came back negative. He then played against the Cowboys, but once again, felt soreness in his arm this week. He went in for his second MRI on Tuesday but this time the results were bad.
The first news I saw of the MRI results came from Bay Area Sports Guys own East Bay Sports Guy who tweeted that head coach Dennis Allen had announced that Veldheer has a torn triceps.
Veldheer has a torn triceps, per Dennis Allen.
— East Bay Sports Guy (@EBSportsGuy) August 14, 2013
Given how serious the injury is, Veldheer will likely be put on the IR with a designation that will allow them to take him back off should he be ready to return before the start of the season. However, with a recovery time that could be upwards of three months, it is unlikely he returns in time to make much of a difference once he knocks all of the rust off.
The Raiders already had issues along their offensive line, but Veldheer and center Stefan Wisniewski were the two guys they believed they could lean on. Both are young, have a ton of talent and are only getting better with time. Without Veldheer, the Raiders will be forced to move Alex Barron to left tackle and leave Khalif Barnes at right tackle.
While Barron has had a good training camp, it was hoped he would represent an upgrade at right tackle. Instead, the Raiders are once again stuck with an underachieving Barnes at right tackle and are forced to downgrade their left tackle position as well. With second round pick Menelik Watson still out with an undisclosed injury, the Raiders really do not have any other legitimate options at offensive tackle.
It was already unlikely the Raiders would have a great season before this injury and now, things are starting to look even more bleak for the Silver and Black. Losing one of their best players at a position where the team is already weak is possibly the worst thing that could have happened to the Raiders right now.