Oakland Raiders' Injured: Progress Report

Ramone BrownSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Johnnie Lee Higgins #15 of the Oakland Raiders is hit by Eric Weddle #32 of the San Diego Chargers during their game on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Its no secret that injuries are a part of every team.

Here's a look at the Raiders injuries and what they mean coming into week two.

Khalif Barnes—Doubtful (Ankle)

He has been allowed to resume practice but is still unlikely to play in the game. As of now he is set to backup Mario Henderson. If he continues to refuse to play the right, barring injury, he won't see the field much. Barnes also plays the extra TE in goal line situations and his return could boost the goal line and short yardage production.

Johnnie Lee Higgins—Questionable (Shoulder)

He sprained an AC joint in his shoulder after an impressive hit by a Charger safety Monday night. He underwent an MRI and the severity of the injury won't be known until tonight.

Javon Walker—Questionable (Knee)

Walker believes he is healthy and ready to go. Tom Cable and the training staff have said otherwise...Very puzzling. Does this suggest Cable has lack of faith in the reciever or is just being over cautious. There is also talk of Walker retuning punts.

Nick Miller—Doubtful (Ankle)

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What was first though to be shin splints turned out to be a broken bone just above his ankle. Miller hopes he won't be placed on IR but it is a possibility as the injury often takes 4-6 weeks to recover from. Miller and Higgins are both important parts of the return game.

Justin Fargas—Probable (Hamstring)

His status according to Raiders.com is still listed as questionable. But the site is known for its slow updates and still says it is only week one. Justin Fargas is most likely to suit up for Sunday's game, if only to receive limited reps. It would be a mistake to play him if he isn't fully recovered.

Chaz Schilens—Out (Foot)

He has been cleared to begin running again. Though a return Sunday morning is improbable it is not impossible with a week three return against the Broncos more likely.

Jason Horton—IR (Foot)

Mike Hawkins—IR (Undisclosed)

For the most part these injuries are minor but may still slow the Raiders offense a little.

With two other capable backs (maybe even three including Louis Rankin) there is no need to rush Justin Fargas to the field. He shouldn't return until he is fully recovered. I'm sure a good deal of Raider fans didn't miss him last week.

The return game is hampered by injury. With Nick Miller out fourth string running back, Louis Rankin, took over kick returns. In Higgins absence, Hiram Eugene has taken over punt return duties and reports say it isn't pretty.

Maybe the Raiders should look into bringing back return specialist Justin Miller. As far as I know he is still teamless. Or just throw McFadden back there on punt returns, he did it in college.

The receiver injuries hurt the passing game a lot. Higgins lead all Oakland receivers last year and Schilens was a beast in preseason. Having both of them available will make JaMarcus' life a lot easier. Javon Walker? Well, he is a wildcard, I'm not completely buying into his miraculous recovery and return to form.

For now lets just hope for quick recoveries from all the injured Raiders.

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