Oakland Raiders

Marshawn Lynch injury means Raiders offense can actually get worse

Marshawn Lynch has been one thing Jon Gruden can count on this season. If his injury is serious, the Raiders offense is going to get even worse.

Oakland Raiders fans haven’t had much to cheer about this season, but Marshawn Lynch’s running ability has been a shining light in a pitch black season in Oakland. Unfortunately, Jon Gruden’s team may not be able to turn to Beast Mode for help in the immediate future.

Gruden recently told the press that the coaching staff hopes they can “continue to use” Lynch in the coming weeks, but he also admitted that he is “concerned” about the 32-year-old’s strained groin. Evidently, the injury is causing Lynch enough pain that he will undergo an MRI in the near future.

It’s not as if much has been working on offense for the 1-5 Raiders. For the most part, Gruden’s attack has looked completely incapable of troubling opposing defenses. Lynch has arguably been the team’s most productive offense player through six games. He’s rushed 90 times for a respectable total of 376 yards and three touchdowns. That’s not going to get Lynch to the Pro Bowl, but it does make him an above average NFL running back.

That’s not a phrase you can use to describe Doug Martin. The former Buccaneers back would be in line to get the majority of Lynch’s carries if Beast Mode is forced to miss significant action. Swapping Martin for Lynch would only put more pressure on Derek Carr and the passing game to carry the team.

Given the way Carr has struggled on the season, that’s obviously a bad idea. He already looks like one of the worst signal-callers in the NFL when he’s confronted with any sort of pressure. The absence of a quality running back like Lynch will only embolden defensive coordinators to put more heat on Carr. That could easily lead to a rash of turnovers from the Raiders offense.

Next: Raiders will replace Derek Carr in the 2019 NFL Draft

On the other hand, perhaps Lynch missing time could turn out to be the best thing possible for Gruden and company. It would probably allow the Raiders to sink to the bottom of the NFL standings. That would at least allow them to “earn” the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft. Lucking into a franchise quarterback might be the only thing that can alter the Raiders’ fortunes.

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