Raiders coach Jon Gruden feared this week that Marshawn Lynch’s groin injury could be long term. That fear became a reality Friday.
Lynch will be sidelined at least a month and there’s a strong possibility the Raiders’ lead back could be placed on injured reserve, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
It’s unclear when Lynch suffered the groin strain, but it appears to be something Lynch has battled since the start of the season. Lynch was on the first injury report of the regular season with a groin injury but did not miss any time.
Lynch only missed one game last season in his first year with the Raiders. He’s been one of the most durable running backs since entering the league in 2007. Lynch only failed once to play in at least 13 games in a season. That was in 2015 when “Beast Mode” only appeared in seven games before retiring the following the season.
Lynch leads the team with 90 attempts for 376 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Doug Martin is expected to get the bulk of the carries while Lynch is out. Martin’s carries have declined the past three games and he didn’t see a hand-off last week during the Raiders’ 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London.
Gruden remained high on Martin despite the lack of usage. Martin has a similar skill set to Lynch and that could be a reason why he didn’t get many opportunities in the first six games.
Jalen Richard, who has contributed as a pass-catcher, should also expect an increase in carries. DeAndre Washington is now likely to make his season debut behind Richard when the Raiders return from their bye week to host the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 28.
Washington had arthroscopic knee surgery in August, but he’s been healthy for a month.
Martin has 99 rushing yards on 27 carries and is averaging 3.7 yards per carry this season. Richard has 32 rushing yards on 11 carries and recorded 31 receptions for 253 receiving yards.