Raiders, Broncos Thursday Week 4 injury report: CB Nate Hobbs (concussion) practices

CB Nate Hobbs (concussion) returned to practice today

Good sign today for the chances of Nate Hobbs making it through the concussion protocol, giving him a chance to play this Sunday against the Broncos.

The second-year starting cornerback returned to practice today after missing Wednesday’s practice with a concussion he suffered in the Raiders Week three game against the Titans.

He was limited, and according to media in attendance was wearing a red non-contact jersey, so he’s not out of the woods just yet. As a reminder, Andre James returned to practice last week and was wearing a red non-contact jersey and he ended up missing his second consecutive game with a concussion.

Still not practicing with a concussion was WR Hunter Renfrow who missed last week’s game in Nashville.

Also still missing practice today was TE Foster Moreau (knee).

DT Johnathan Hankins (groin) and CB Sam Webb (hamstring) were both added to the injury report, presumably suffering their injuries in today’s practice so their status will be worth watching on Friday.

Missing for consecutive days for the Broncos were WR Tyrie Cleveland (hamstring), OLB Jonathan Cooper (hamstring), DT DJ Jones (concussion), CB Darius Phillips (hamstring), and OL Billy Turner (knee).

Raiders sign S Matthias Farley off practice squad, waive S Isaiah Pola-Mao

Raiders have waived S Isaiah Pola-Mao and signed S Matthias Farley off the practice squad

After elevating safety Matthias Farley from the practice squad in each of the first three games this season, the Raiders finally made it official. They have signed Farley to the active roster.

In a corresponding move, they have waived safety Isaiah Pola-Mao who had made the team out of camp as an undrafted free agent out of USC.

Farley has been a special teams maven for much of his eight-year career. He originally made the Colts roster as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and spent four seasons in Indianapolis, appearing in 37 games and starting 16 on defense.

Since then, he played two seasons with the New York Jets and the 2021 season with the Titans where he appeared in all 17 games and tied for the team lead with 11 special teams tackles.

In two appearances this season for the Raiders, Farley has played 52 special teams snaps and four defensive snaps, accumulating one tackle.

Bleacher Report says Jermaine Eluemunor should be benched

Should the Raiders consider benching Jermaine Eluemunor?

The offensive line for the Raiders through three games has been worse than expected. The team has suffered some injuries, including to swing tackle Brandon Parker and center Andre James. Still, the unit as a whole is underperforming.

So are there any moves that Josh McDaniels could make with his current squad to get better play from his offensive line? There is one that does make sense and it involves a veteran player being benched.

In a recent article by Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report, he named one player that every team should bench ahead of Week 4. For the Raiders, that was none other than Jermaine Eluemunor, who started last week at right guard.

Here is why the site believes the Raiders should consider moving on from the veteran offensive lineman:

“Jermaine Eluemunor has already started games at right tackle and guard as the Raiders try to put out a starting five that can help this offense get going.

Regardless of position, Eluemunor doesn’t seem to be the answer. According to Sports Info Solutions, the former Patriots lineman has the fifth-highest blown-block percentage of anyone who has played at least 50 snaps this season.”

It’s likely that the Raiders will put Eluemunor back into a reserve role once Andre James is healthy. That will allow Dylan Parham to shift back to right guard, which is where he played in Week 1.

The Raiders aren’t having any success with their offensive line as it currently stands. So they might as well start their young players including Thayer Munford (right tackle) and Parham (left guard). Look for Elumunor to revert back to the bench in the next few weeks.

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Could the Raiders make a move for Bears OT Riley Reiff before trade deadline?

Will the Raiders explore the trade market for a veteran right tackle?

Needless to say, the offensive line has been bad for the Raiders this season. Every spot, including left tackle, has been worse than expected and the Raiders are now playing a seventh-round rookie at right tackle because they are out of options.

So, could the Raiders explore the trade market to find a suitable right tackle? Because right now, their offensive line is preventing them from being able to win games.

In a recent article by Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus, he took a look at several players that could be dealt before the trade deadline. One of those players is veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff to the Chicago Bears.

Here is why Spielberger and PFF believe he could be traded in the next few weeks:

“Reiff signed an incentive-laden contract with the Bears that doesn’t pay much unless he actually plays, and he is now firmly cemented as the swing tackle behind rookie left tackle Braxton Jones and second-round right tackle Larry Borom.

Teven Jenkins is currently rotating at right guard but could serve as tackle depth at either spot, and Chicago also traded for former Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Alex Leatherwood, though he’s currently out with mononucleosis.”

Reiff has a ton of experience playing right tackle and he is a quality player when healthy. That’s been the knock on him over the last few years as he’s missed a lot of time with injuries, but he’s healthy now and ready to play.

If the Raiders do get a win this weekend, they might be more inclined to make a move like this to try to get back into contention. But another loss and an 0-4 start might force them to keep their draft picks and keep playing young players on the offensive line.

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Raiders, Broncos Wednesday Week 4 injury report: LB Denzel Perryman returns to practice

LB Denzel Perryman returns to practice for Raiders while CB Nate Hobbs enters concussion protocol

No injured player for the Raiders has been missed the past couple weeks quite like Denzel Perryman. His presence in the middle of the Raiders’ defense is quite noticeable, both for his play as well as his leadership and intelligence. So, in that regard, the Raiders got very good news on Wednesday as he practiced for the first time since going out with an injury in the season opener.

Also injuring himself in the season opener was center Andre James, who suffered a concussion on the final play. He too missed the past two weeks. He returned to practice last week, but was wearing a red non-contact jersey and was inactive for the game. He was upgraded to a full participant in today’s practice.

Still missing with a concussion this week is WR Hunter Renfrow, who, as it happens, also suffered his head injury on the final play of the game in week two against the Cardinals.

Joining Renfrow in the concussion protocol is CB Nate Hobbs who left last Sunday’s game vs the Titans.

Also missing practice was TE Foster Moreau with a knee injury.

Seven players were missing for the Broncos, so those will be worth watching this week.

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Raiders HC Josh McDaniels responds to Dan Orlovsky examples of Derek Carr not throwing to Davante Adams

Dan Orlovsky cited several examples of Derek Carr not throwing to Davante Adams when he should have. Josh McDaniels responded to the criticism.

It can be difficult for the untrained eye to know exactly when a pass is supposed to go to a certain player based on the play and coverage by the defense. For that we tend to rely on those who are either coaches or players.

Dan Orlovsky is a former NFL quarterback who now works as an analyst on NFL Network. He combed through the game tape of the last two games the Raiders played to try and figure out why Davante Adams is suddenly so underutilized. What he found were, as he describes it, five or six examples in which the ball should have gone to Adams and, for whatever reason, did not.

One Raiders fan tweeted out the video of Orlovsky’s video analysis.

Orlovsky’s assertion that Derek Carr is intentionally not throwing to Davante Adams seems kind of crazy, but he notes that he simply can’t come up with another reason why Adams wouldn’t be getting the ball in these situations. He said similar in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show.

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about what Orlovsky said. He started out by saying he didn’t see the segment or know what Orlovsky was referring to.

However, McDaniels does note that the issue could be in relying too much on tape study and not enough on deciding where to go with the ball based on reading the defense at the line.

“We’ve seen a lot of different things in three weeks. Much of which may not have showed up in the scouting report based on what a team played someone else,” said McDaniels.

“The scouting report almost takes a right or a left turn at the beginning of every game because a team decides to do something dramatically different than maybe what they decided against two or three opponents prior to your game. And so, I think that getting used to that, being able to adjust to it, and still be productive. . . which is why what we always try to preach is, the most important thing we can do is read the defense because if you’re just going to assume that one guy’s going to be open or I have to throw it here, again, the defense always has a vote in that and they get to determine how they’re going to try to cover you.”

McDaniels used, as a prime example, that a team may double team a receiver, which would take that player away as the primary option. But that was clearly not the case in the examples Orlovsky showed, and he claims he has just as many similar examples he didn’t show.

And, yeah, we all understand that targets are going to vary even for great receivers like Adams, depending on what the defense is giving you. And it can lead to players like Mack Hollins having big days because the defense isn’t keying on them.

But, it’s clear there’s more to it than that. Not to mention that was never an issue between Adams and Aaron Rodgers, and you can bet every single defense focused on trying to take Adams out of the equation.

Even with the big game Adams had in the season opener, it’s clear that the high flying offense and supposed pre-packaged chemistry we expected between Derek Carr and Davante Adams has not materialized.

Does that mean it won’t materialize? Certainly not. It’s just odd considering the expectations that this duo would not need an acclimation period.

Which leads back to what Orlovsky said. Which is that chemistry is not the issue. That it wouldn’t even matter if Adams was Adams in these scenarios. It just makes it all the more egregious that is *is* Adams. The guy any QB should be making every effort to get the ball is, at times, is often times not even getting a look from Carr. And other times Carr seems not to recognize the situation is ideal for Adams to be the target.

There’s simply no excuse for it. Look to Adams because it’s the right read. Look to Adams because you shouldn’t have to find your timing with him with as many times you’ve thrown to him over the years. Look to Adams because it’s Davante *Freaking* Adams and the success of this offense depends upon utilizing his abilities.

Offensive line for Raiders ranked at No. 30 by Pro Football Focus

Where does the OL of the #Raiders rank after Week 3?

The offensive line for the Raiders has not played particularly well this season. That was expected as it was the biggest weakness for the team entering training camp, the preseason and then into Week 1.

But how does the offensive line compare to the rest of the league? In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, Sam Monson ranked all 32 offensive lines post Week 3.

Not surprisingly, the Raiders did not finish particularly high. They were ranked at No. 30, which is actually one spot ahead of where they were last week. Here is a snippet of what he had to say about the unit:

“Against Tennessee in Week 3, the Raiders’ line held up well in pass protection but earned universally terrible grades as run-blockers. Nine different linemen have played at least a snap for the team already in three games.”

Monson pointed out that the biggest weakness on the offensive line for the Raiders right now is Thayer Munford. While that may be true, Munford wasn’t bad in Week 3. In fact, he allowed just one pressure in the passing game.

But to Monson’s point, he did not grade out well as a run blocker. That is where he needs to improve if he wants to keep the right tackle job for the remainder of the season.

The entire offensive line just isn’t playing well right now, including Kolton Miller. All five players need to step it up as the offense is struggling because of them. They’ll have a tall task in Week 4, blocking one of the best defensive lines in the NFL as they face the Denver Broncos.

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NFL Week 4: Reasons to watch each game

Here’s why you should tune in to each NFL game in Week 4.

Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season provided another solid slate of games, where there are just two undefeated teams left in the Dolphins and Eagles.

Heading into Week 4, there are plenty of intriguing matchups for fans to watch. It all starts when the Dolphins and Bengals square off on Thursday Night Football. Then there’s a showdown between two of the hottest teams in the AFC as the Bills battle the Ravens on Sunday afternoon and a Sunday Night contest between the Chiefs and Buccaneers.

Our NFL Wire editors offered their reasons for why you should tune in to each game in Week 4.

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Behind Enemy Lines with Broncos Wire ahead of Week 4

Behind Enemy Lines with Broncos Wire ahead of Week 4

The Raiders will play a must-win game in Week 4 as they host the Denver Broncos. After starting the season off at 0-3, the Raiders can’t afford to drop to 0-4 if they want any hope of making the playoffs this year.

To prepare you for this matchup, we went behind enemy lines with Jon Heath of Broncos Wire to discuss the Denver Broncos ahead of Week 4.

RW: Why is Russell Wilson struggling to get going in Denver’s offense?

BW: I think he’s taking some time to adjust to a new scheme and I think Nathaniel Hackett did a poor job getting plays in quickly through the first two games (they have since hired a new assistant to help that go more smoothly).
When the game was on the line in Week 3, Wilson took matters into his own hands and looked like his old self, scrambling around to make plays. Maybe that’s what he needs to get back to, playing more freely and not being so worried about playing within the system.
Not all of the team’s offensive woes fall on Wilson — there have been multiple dropped passes, some very questionable play-calling and a couple of fumbles from his running backs in the red zone. But he’s certainly off to a slow start.
RW: How has Randy Gregory looked in his first year with the Broncos?
BW: He’s been excellent so far, and it’s not just his own production that’s stood out. Gregory’s mere presence has opened things up for fellow OLB Bradley Chubb and even DL Dre’Mont Jones. Gregory has five quarterback hits, two sacks and two forced fumbles through three games.
Gregory has been exactly what the Broncos hoped he would be when they signed him in March, and he’s taken the team’s pass rush rotation to the next level.
RW: Do you still view the Broncos as a legit contender in the AFC?
BW: It’s probably a little too early to tell. Their defense looks fantastic, but they haven’t faced a top offense yet. Their own offense has been very underwhelming, but the pieces are in place for the unit to turn things around as they begin to gel more as the season goes on.
They’re in contention in the AFC West at this very moment, but that can obviously change quickly. The Broncos will go as far as Wilson can take them.
If his game picks up and the offense gets going, I think Denver can compete in the conference. But it remains to be seen if the offense will be able to work out the kinks.
RW: Who is one under-the-radar player to keep an eye on during this matchup?
BW: Dre’Mont Jones doesn’t seem to be very well-known outside of Denver, but he has emerged as the team’s best defensive lineman. He’s totaled nine tackles, two sacks, two QB hits and one forced fumble through three weeks. He’s also been solid against the run. Keep an eye on No. 93 on the Broncos defensive line.
RW: Who wins and why?
BW: The Raiders are winless, but that makes them even more desperate, and they’re playing at home against a well-known division rival. Josh McDaniels doesn’t need any extra motivation, but he will be facing his old team as well.
It’s tough to predict Las Vegas dropping to 0-4, but the Broncos’ defense has kept the team in every game so far this year and the unit should be able to do the same in Week 4.
Broncos 23, Raiders 16.
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Ballers & Busters for Raiders Week 3 vs Titans

Raiders Ballers & Busters in loss to the Titans

It was another partial game for the Raiders. And once again, their portion was not quite as successful as the opponent’s and they fell short in the end, falling to 0-3 on the season.

This one was similar to the season-opening loss to the Chargers where the Raiders dug themselves a hole they were unable to dig themselves out of.

This hole was a 24-10 deficit at the half. After giving up touchdowns on the first three possessions, they would hold the Titans scoreless in the second half. But the Raiders’ comeback attempt ended with a failed two-point conversion in the final seconds.

Ballers

WR Mack Hollins

It was the heroics of Hollins that gave the Raiders a chance late. Well, technically they started on the first drive when he had a 20-yard catch on third and 15. The Raiders were able to get a field goal on the drive.

In the third quarter, he showed up on special teams when he kept an AJ Cole punt from bounding into the end zone and then fell on it at the one. Even with a 30-yard completion on the drive, the Titans still didn’t make it to scoring position on the drive.

His heroics continued with six minutes left in the game. Derek Carr threw for Hollins along the left sideline. Hollins made the catch, broke several tackles and took it for 60 yards. The Raiders got a field goal out of it to pull within eight points.

With three minutes left in the game, the Raiders would get the ball back. They quickly found themselves in fourth-and-ten and Carr again looked for his favorite target on the day. He threw it deep for Hollins, but he was turned inside and the pass sailed outside. Hollins tracked it down, twisting to adjust to the outside shoulder and made a ridiculous over-the-shoulder grab for 48 yards. It was an extremely difficult catch to make and if he didn’t make it, the Raiders’ hopes end there.

Later in the drive, the Raiders were in fourth down again. This time from the nine-yard-line. And, of course, Carr danced with the date that got him there. Hollins was covered, but Carr threw it anyway and Hollins leaped in the air and reached over the defender to pull in the touchdown.

The two-point conversion failed, but Hollins is the reason they were in that position at all.

Also see: Mack Hollins’s huge catches, career-day give Raiders chance late vs Titans

DE Maxx Crosby

The first stop of the game was Crosby making a tackle for loss on Derrick Henry. He was in on three of the first four plays, including a batted ball and another run stop for no gain. But he can’t do it all by himself and they drove for a TD anyway.

Crosby was a big part of the Raiders holding the Titans scoreless in the second half. He made the first tackle on a run stuff for no gain. On the next play, he got pressure leading to the pass not being delivered on time and an ineligible man downfield penalty. On third and long, Ryan Tannehill was picked off.

He had another run stuff for a loss on third and short on the following drive and it would end with a turnover on downs. And the drive after that he added another run stuff and a pressure leading to an incompletion.

In the final Titans possession, the Raiders desperately needed a quick stop. And Crosby provided it. He had a run stuff at the line on the first play and sacked Tannehill for a 12-yard loss on the next play. They went three-and-out.

He finished with a team-leading nine combined tackles (five solo) and the only sack and tackles for loss (2) the Raiders had in the game.

RB Josh Jacobs

Jacobs had 66 yards on 13 carries (5.1 yards per carry) and five catches for 31 yards, to give him 97 yards from scrimmage.

His first run went for ten yards, setting up their first score. And on their first TD drive, on consecutive plays, he had a six-yard catch, a throwback pass to Carr that led to a 17-yard completion to Davante Adams, and an 11-yard run to put them in first and goal at the one. They scored on the next play.

He led out the Raiders’ first scoring drive of the third quarter with a 13-yard run and added a five-yard run. Then he led out their final scoring drive with a 13-yard catch.

TE Foster Moreau

The Raiders’ first touchdown doesn’t happen without Moreau. He started out the drive with a 22-yard catch and two plays later added a 14-yard catch in which he dragged his feet inbounds along the right sideline.

On their scoring drive to start the third quarter, Moreau laid the block out right to spring Brandon Bolden for a 12-yard run. He added an eight-yard first down catch in the fourth quarter.

T Thayer Munford

The rookie seventh-round pick made his first career start and played every snap. In that time he gave up one sack and that was the only pressure he gave up all game long. He didn’t even have a penalty. Well done, rook.