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Jacoby Ford Injury May Not Matter vs. New York Jets

With All-Pro center Nick Mangold potentially sitting out this Sunday's game, look for Richard Seymour to bounce back from a disappointing performance against the Buffalo Bills.
With All-Pro center Nick Mangold potentially sitting out this Sunday's game, look for Richard Seymour to bounce back from a disappointing performance against the Buffalo Bills.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Armando MartinezCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2011

For a second straight week, Oakland Raiders' wide receiver Jacoby Ford was held out of practice.

On Wednesday afternoon, he was once again a spectator, dressed in sweats near a training table. According to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune, Mike Mitchell, Louis Murphy and Chris Johnson were also kept from the practice field due to injury.

The absence of Ford and Murphy should not be alarming to the team or their fans due to the play of rookie wide out Denarius Moore and veteran Derek Hagan last week against Buffalo.

Each had five catches in the contest. Moore was used as more of a deep threat, compiling 146 yards through the air, while Hagan was used as more of a possession receiver with four of his five catches going for first downs.

The biggest news on the injury front might be coming from their opponents this week, the New York Jets. Center Nick Mangold sat out today's practice with a high ankle sprain, an injury that is known to keep players out longer than expected.

Whether or not Mangold suits up against the Raiders is up in the air. If he were to miss the game, his replacement would be rookie Colin Baxter.

This should be music to the ears of Raiders' starting defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.

Both Seymour and Kelly had sub par games against the Bills last week, looking fatigued on many occasions and unable to get any penetration on Buffalo's inexperienced interior line.

This tends to be the case more often than not after cross-country flights in which the team is forced to play at 1 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone.

The same thing happened last year against the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

If the defensive line is looking for a bounce back game, this may be just what the doctor ordered.

In addition to having Baxter possibly play in place of Mangold, tackle Wayne Hunter of the Jets has also struggled mightily thus far in the season.

On passing downs, he will most likely be matched up against outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who had nine sacks last season.

For the Raiders to have a shot at upsetting the Jets in their home opener, the front four of the defense will need to be able to get consistent penetration and force Mark Sanchez into making poor decisions.

By collapsing the pocket, Sanchez will not be able to sit back and pick the Raiders' secondary apart as Ryan Fitzpatrick did in the second half of last week's game.

It would behoove defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan to determine early on whether or not they can exploit that mismatch.

If not, he cannot be hesitant in dialing up blitzes from the linebackers or, better yet, from the secondary. We all saw what happened last week when the back end of the Raiders' defense was asked to cover man-to-man.

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