ALAMEDA, Calif. —The Raiders aren’t only hurting in the standings.
Marshawn Lynch led a group of eight injured players that coach Jon Gruden listed Tuesday as the 1-5 Raiders headed into their bye week. Others Gruden mentioned included starters Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Kelechi Osemele.
Gruden expected quick recoveries by most, but Lynch’s injury is the most worrisome. According to Gruden, Lynch will undergo an MRI this week for a groin strain.
“We’ll have to update you when we know more,” Gruden said. “[Lynch’s] going to be evaluated further, but, yeah we’re concerned about him and we’re also hopeful that we can continue to use him. We’ll let you know next week.”
It’s unclear when Lynch suffered the groin strain, but it appears to be something Lynch has battled since the beginning of the season. Lynch appeared on the first injury report of the regular season with a groin injury but did not miss any time.
In the Raiders first six games, Lynch leads the team with 90 attempts for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
Lynch has been one of the healthier Raiders since returning to the NFL and joining Oakland in 2017. He hasn’t missed a game due to an injury and that durability makes the situation even more significant to Gruden.
“I don’t want to say anything other than any time a man like this is sore, I’m concerned,” Gruden said. “We’ll get him checked out and get it to you as soon as possible.”
LB Johnson released
The Raiders released veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson, the team announced Tuesday. Johnson, 35, signed with the Raiders on May 4 after being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. He started Week 1 against the L.A. Rams and appeared in six games, registering 17 combined tackles.
But Johnson’s snap count went down in previous weeks in favor of 2017 fifth-round pick Marquel Lee, who takes over Johnson’s starting role.
In a corresponding move, the Raiders signed linebacker Jason Cabinda to the active roster from the team’s practice squad.
Raiders keep up morale
The Raiders seem to be maintaining a positive locker room, according to Jalen Richard. The third-year running back is looking to use the bye week as a time for the team to reset after its poor start.
“I try to talk to the guys and make sure nobody’s really worrying on this and that,” Richard said.
“To me, shoot, we’ve got food and we’ve got water at the house, so there’s nothing to worry about. It’s a high focus on just trying to turn this thing around, and, like I said, using this bye week to our advantage to really just clear out minds, come back and be ready to compete and just have fun and play ball.”
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Gruden: Raiders ‘aren’t tanking anything’
Back-to-back lopsided losses have given Oakland five losses in six games. The Raiders have already traded away their best player and there are reports that other key pieces could be dealt soon.
Very little has gone right in the first season of coach Jon Gruden’s second stint in Oakland. But as the Raiders left town for a bye week, Gruden had a message to his legion of critics calling 2018 a lost season in Oakland.
“I’ll say this, we aren’t tanking anything,” Gruden said Tuesday. “I hear the hatred out there, some of the rumors that we are tanking it to get a first-round pick or a higher pick. We are not getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to tank it. Ain’t nobody tanking it. I don’t know who wrote that or who said that or who thinks that, but that isn’t the case here. We are going to continue to work hard, continue to build our team and that was part of the message.”
The Associated Press