ALAMEDA, Calif. — As the Raiders brace for the biggest game of their season Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, they will do so without one of their most important players.
Right tackle Trent Brown, who has helped stabilize the Raiders much improved offensive line, has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a pectoral injury. Brandon Parker will get the start in place of Brown, and the Raiders are hopeful they’ll get back reserve tackle David Sharpe, who has been hobbled by a calf injury the last two weeks.
The Raiders also are unsure of the status of rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday and was limited Friday.
“He didn’t do much,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said.
If Jacobs can’t go, the Raiders will lean heavily on backups DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. The two backups have a combined 231 yards rushing and 390 yards receiving this year. Jacobs has 1,061 yards rushing and 146 yards receiving.
Brown’s injury sounds like it might be more than a one-week situation, and that is bad news the Raiders can ill-afford with four games remaining in the season and very little margin of error in the playoff race.
The Raiders (6-6) are one game behind the 7-5 Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers and desperately need to reel off a winning streak in order to secure a postseason berth. It looks like that might happen with Brown.
“We’re gonna have to update you on that later,” Gruden said of Brown’s long-range status. “I just know he’s not going to play this week and he’s, hopefully, going to be ready to go. But I can’t comment any further on that.”
Brown has battled ankle and knee injuries this year, and sat out the game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 6 with the ankle injury and most of the Detroit Lions game in Week 8 with the knee injury.
Parker is in his second year with the Raiders after getting drafted in the third round last year out of North Carolina A&T. He started 12 games as a rookie in 2018 and been on the 46-man game day roster seven times this season.
“I think he’s had some good moments,” Gruden said. “He obviously had a couple of weeks where we didn’t see enough, and he’s really done well over the last seven or eight weeks on the practice field. We’re anxious to see him play. We’re going to miss Trent, obviously. but we’re anxious to see Brandon.”
Said Parker: “I’ve very excited. Obviously you don’t want to see anybody get hurt in this game, but when you’re time comes it’s your time to prove yourself.”
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for him over the last year making the transition from a small-school college to the NFL, but the 6-foot-8, 320-pound Parker
“Stronger. Wiser. Faster,” is how he described the progress he’s made of the last two years.
For a team that wanted to shake things up, this isn’t what they had it mind
“I can’t shake it up any more than it is,” Gruden said. “I mean it’s shaking man, the ground is shaking while I’m standing here. Honest to God.”