Oakland Raiders Black Hole
We've waited over seven months for the Oakland Raiders to get back on the field for the 2012 season, and that moment is almost here.
The Raiders will face the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night at O.co Coliseum in their first preseason battle. With so much to look forward to this year, this has been a very long awaited moment. With the game now just hours away, here is a look at the Silver and Black's latest injury list and who we won't be seeing tonight.
Aaron Curry was injured during offseason workouts and didn't participate at training camp at all. He received a stem cell treatment to try and correct the soft-tissue injury to his knee, but reportedly there has been little progress.
Head coach Dennis Allen noted on Sunday, "Curry is still in L.A.; he’s receiving a series of treatments by a specialist down there in L.A."
This is not good news for the linebacker, and there is no scheduled timetable for his return. Some have even speculated that he's been cut. Rookie Miles Burris is filling in for now, and is the likely starter through most of preseason.
Denarius Moore was a stand-out rookie last year and many hope that he'll go even further in 2012. Unfortunately we won't see him in the first preseason game. He's still out with hamstring issues.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Moore remarked back on August 4, "It's a little frustrating coming in, knowing that you have an injury, have to sit out and wait and watch your teammates constantly practice, going through it and grinding, and you just sit on the side. But it's something that you can't control, you've got to sit back and just let it heal on its own."
Allen confirmed that Moore will not be on the field in Oakland tonight. We'll have to hope that he heals soon. I'm one of many fans who have really looked forward to seeing Moore make a positive difference for the Silver and Black this year.
Running backs Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson are out. Jones with a hamstring issue and Goodson still suffering from a sore neck after taking a very hard hit last week at training camp.
The job goes to Lonyae Miller tonight, getting his chance to shine. He hasn't seen a lot of playing time since signing last season, and I'm excited to see how he'll take advantage of this opportunity.
Shane Lechler, arguably the best punter in the league, will most likely be absent this evening, as well. The seven-time Pro Bowler, who kicked a record-setting 80-yard punt last season, is said to have had a knee ailment since the first week of camp.
Rookie Marquette King will take Lechler's place tonight. He's said to have been impressive at practice, but somewhat inconsistent. Face it, there is really no one on this planet who could really take the place of Lechler, but he's likely to return soon.
Tight end Brandon Myers who is said to have been very impressive during training camp, and even the most likely starter, is unfortunately out with a jammed shoulder.
We'll probably see David Ausberry and Richard Gordon get time on the field tonight, and many believe that it could be Ausberry's year to prove he can be a starter.
Still, there will be a number of Raiders on the field tonight who we've been looking forward to seeing again. Many are rooting for the third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor to do well, and he'll likely get a lot of time to show us what he can do against the Dallas Cowboys.
Carson Palmer will have limited time, but I still hope to see him make at least a few good plays to give fans confidence that he's got his rhythm with the team going. I'm also interested to see what primary backup Matt Leinart will do tonight.
Darren McFadden is definitely one to watch. He's said to be back at 100 percent, and if that's the case, there will be no stopping him!
The list continues with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Sebastian Janikowski and many others. Despite the players who are out with injuries, there is really a lot to look forward to in Monday night's battle, and I can't wait to watch.
Just win, baby!