Oakland Raiders Secondary in Desperate Need of Adjustments, Additions

The Oakland Raiders will welcome back some reinforcements for the secondary after a historically poor defensive performance in Week 9.

In addition to returning players, it’s more important to make adjustments to patch up the secondary in time for a tough Week 10 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio voiced his optimism for defensive backs Nate Allen and T.J. Carrie’s return to the field this week during Monday’s media press conference. 

The shallow depth behind the starting defensive backs places immense pressure on players staying healthy and in some cases performing at a high level with moderate injuries. 

The coaching staff could lessen the chances of an injury for one particular defensive back nursing multiple bumps and bruises with a minor personnel adjustment.


Replace T.J. Carrie on Punt Returns

The Raiders coaching staff opted to utilize Carrie on punt returns and found out what it’s like to take the field without him against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In Week 8 against the New York Jets, Carrie endured some big hits while covering wide receiver Brandon Marshall. He also took some unnecessary additional hits as a punt returner on special teams. He fielded four punts for six yards—none of which resulted in a fair catch, per Pro Football Focus. 

The defensive back took some high-velocity hits for less than 10 yards of field position. Based on conventional mathematics, the minimal gain isn't worth risking an irreplaceable talent in the secondary. 

Carrie leads the team in punt returns with 17 for the season. It’s a minor tweak, but someone other than the Raiders' best cornerback, with a shoulder and hip injury, should return punts for the remainder of the season. In Week 9, Marcus Thigpen returned a punt in Carrie's ab...

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