When Darrius Heyward-Bey went out of the Denver Broncos game last week, I was expecting to see Johnie Lee Higgins step in as the team's next wide receiver on the depth chart.
Surprise! It's the fourth round pick rookie Jacoby Ford who steps in and takes over as the starter at wide receiver.
Ford wasn't bad as he made two catches and ran two wide receiver reverses, but I would rather see the electric, fast, veteran(ish) Johnie Lee Higgins.
But take a look at Ford's "mug shot" as he dropped a pass that lost the game for Oakland at San Francisco. Not that it's all his fault.
Go back to 2008, when Higgins (working with then QB Jamarcus Russell) made 22 catches for 366 yards and had four receiving touchdowns while only getting three starts. Higgins played a major role along with Chaz Schilens in the Raiders winning two straight games to end the 2008 season.
Higgins was also a good punt returner, as he either gave the Raiders good field position or a special teams touchdown followed by an entertaining touchdown dance that Chad Ochocinco could never compete with.
But it seems like ever since opening night 2009, when JLH took a hard hit from the Chargers, he has never been the same. He has not only lost his return job to a fullback (Luke Lawton returned kicks at one point for the Raiders), he also lost his job as a wide out.
In his limited playing time, he has caught three passes for 40 yards. Those numbers surpass Jacoby Ford's and Ford has been given more snaps.
Perhaps JLH has fallen into the doghouse, or has been overshadowed by the Raiders' wave of new young WRs like Nick Miller, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward-Bey.