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Watson Speaks on Severity of Injury
Sunday, Aug. 30
Watson took to Twitter following the injury, saying, "Ruptured Achilles tendon... I will be back stronger than ever that's a promise. Main thing is supporting the team right now."
Bill Williamson of ESPN.com noted that Austin Howard replaced Watson on Sunday and will likely remain at right tackle throughout the regular season given the significance of the injury.
Howard started all 16 games for the Raiders in 2014 but played mostly at guard. In February, though, head coach Jack Del Rio said Howard would move to tackle in 2015 and compete with Watson, per Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com:
We’ve talked about it. He’ll definitely get a look at right tackle. In all likelihood, we’ll start there with him and (Menelik) Watson battling for the right tackle spot. That’s what I envision. We know that he moved in at guard, but he’s probably more suited to be a tackle.
We’ll work through those things and articulate those things to those players.
The Raiders know they have an experienced option in Howard. The timing of Watson’s setback is also unfortunate given his recent quote, per Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News:
Losing Watson isn't ideal for a team searching for depth on the offensive line, but having an experienced option in Howard certainly softens the blow.