The Raiders have big plans for Antonio Brown this season, but a foot injury could derail the talented wide receiver’s season in Oakland.
Antonio Brown is supposed to serve as the focal point of the Raiders new offense in 2019. Unfortunately for Jon Gruden and his coaching staff, their talented acquisition’s ability to revolutionize the Oakland offense this season is in jeopardy due to injury.
Brown has already missed multiple days of practice due to a foot injury, but now he’s slated to visit a specialist to fully evaluate the issue. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be sidelined for an extended period of time, but it’s certainly bad news for a team that really needs his play making ability to make their offense go.
The Raiders probably don’t have the talent to be a playoff team this season anyway, but losing Brown would be a fatal blow to their offensive hopes. Derek Carr isn’t the sort of quarterback who can elevate average talent around him. On the contrary, Carr needs elite skill position players if he’s going to raise his level of play.
If Brown can’t go, that will force free agent signee Tyrell Williams to move into the No. 1 wide receiver role. He flashed serious ability to make plays during his time with the Chargers, but he wasn’t able to blossom into stardom there for a reason. His inconsistency made him a relative afterthought for Philip Rivers and company.
Losing Brown would also put a ton of pressure on an Oakland ground game that needs the passing game to create rushing lanes. First round selection Josh Jacobs has a lot of fans inside the Raiders coaching staff, but it’s going to be tough for him to succeed if he’s confronted with eight man fronts on a regular basis.
None of this means the Raiders need to rush Brown back to the practice or game field. His long-term health is much more important than anything that’s likely to happen for this team in 2019. Discretion will certainly be the better part of valor for the organization when it comes to Brown’s potential rehabilitation process.
Everyone associated with the Raiders will face a nervous wait until they receive a firm diagnosis regarding Brown’s foot. Anything that costs him any time in the regular season could doom Gruden’s team to a high draft pick in 2020. That’s just how important Brown is to this offense.