Jared Veldheer’s Injury a Huge Blow to the Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders aren’t a team flush with great players, so when one goes down with a significant injury it’s a big deal. On Wednesday, the Raiders announced left tackle Jared Veldheer has a torn triceps and would have surgery.

Head coach Dennis Allen said Veldheer would be a candidate to go on injured reserve with the “eligible to return” designation. If that’s the case, Veldheer could return in Week 9 if he’s ready.

Since it’s only a partially torn triceps, there is a very real chance Veldheer can make it back this season if the surgery and rehab go as planned. Until then, the Raiders have a pretty significant mess on their hands.

Without Veldheer, Alex Barron will shift from right tackle to left tackle. Barron was a former first-round pick, but he washed out of the league and didn’t play last year. Even though Barron has been impressive at right tackle during training camp, the Raiders can’t feel comfortable having him protect Matt Flynn’s blind side.

Veldheer’s injury will shake up an already unsettled offensive line. Barron was also pushing to start at right tackle, which would have pushed Khalif Barnes inside to guard. If Barnes moved to right guard, he would’ve pushed Mike Brisiel into a reserve role and allowed Andre Gurode to take over at left guard.

One or two of Lucas Nix, Mike Brisiel or Tony Bergstrom are now likely to start at guard, Barnes will remain outside at tackle where he can be exposed in pass protection and Barron will have to fill Veldheer’s very big shoes at left tackle. The only position on the offensive line that wasn’t impacted was center, where Stefan Wisniewski will now also be the best player on the line.

The Raiders may also keep tight ends that are better blockers. Richard Gordon is more of a blocker and has been listed as the starter this preseason, b...

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