HOUSTON — Raiders center Rodney Hudson left Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans with an ankle injury and did not return.
Following the game, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said he wasn’t sure how long Hudson would be out.
“I don’t know. I’m concerned,” Gruden said. “I don’t know the severity of it. We’ll have to deal with it.”
Until Sunday, the Raiders had not played with their projected starting offensive line this season. They were together but for about half the first quarter. Hudson exited with 6:01 left in the opening period after a 4-yard run by DeAndre Washington. Undrafted rookie center Andre James filled in for Hudson.
“I’ve got some things to clean up, but I felt good about it,” James said.
Both Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr said they were impressed with James’ performance in spot duty.
“He did really good. I’m really proud of that kid,” Gruden said.
“I thought Andre did a great job against a really good front,” Carr said. “I thought Andre competed his tail off — made some great calls. I didn’t have to override any of them. He was on it.”
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, James played tackle at UCLA before converting to center when he entered the league. If Hudson is out for an extended period, James would presumably take over on a full-time basis, unless the Raiders acquire another center in free agency or through a trade. The NFL’s trading deadline is Tuesday.
Right guard Gabe Jackson said if Hudson is out for a while, the Raiders would miss him. But they also have confidence in James.
“You’re losing a great guy, a great leader, a guy that comes out and works hard and makes sure he knows everything and is on top of everything,” Jackson said. “And not saying Andre won’t, but this is a guy who’s been playing for years and has a lot of experience. But we’re confident in Andre to get the job done if need be.”