Donald Penn Injury: Raiders Tackle Out vs. Texans with Injured Knee

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured Columnist

Oakland Raiders Donald Penn during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Cleveland. Oakland won 27-20.(AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)
Aaron Josefczyk/Associated Press

Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn suffered a knee injury that will hold him out of his team's AFC Wild Card Game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, according to Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group.

Penn said he has a small fracture in his knee that won't require surgery and that he could play in the Raiders' next game if Oakland advances, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The timing of this injury could not have come at a worse time considering that Penn has been a beacon of consistency over his 11-year career, playing in every single game since he broke into the lineup in 2007.

The 33-year-old, along with the rest of Oakland's offensive line, was facing the task of protecting third-string rookie quarterback Connor Cook after starter Derek Carr and backup Matt McGloin went down with injuries.

Cook will be the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make his first career start in the postseason, per Schefter.

Penn didn't miss a beat upon joining the Raiders in 2014 after spending eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as he helped create a solid offensive line that allowed 33 sacks last season. The line was even better in 2016, allowing a league-best 18 sacks.

That kind of protection helped quarterback Derek Carr feel more comfortable in the pocket and lead a passing game that boasts one of the best young receivers in the game in Amari Cooper (22).

Penn's performance earned him a two-year, $11.9 million deal during the offseason.

But without one of their top offensive linemen, the Raiders could be in big trouble Saturday with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm for the team's first playoff appearance since the 2002 season.

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