Raiders Put 3 on Injured Reserve; Two Others Out
The eye patch on the figure in the Raider logo is merely symbolic, but how symbolic it has suddenly become.
It hasn’t gotten so bad yet in Raiderland that you can’t tell the players without a score card. But you certainly can’t tell the starting lineup without a medical chart.
The club placed three players on the injured-reserve list Wednesday and announced that two others will not play Sunday against the Rams.
Add to this the previous losses of veteran defensive back Vann McElroy because of a leg injury, top offensive lineman Jim Lachey in a trade and the continuing uncertainty at quarterback, where Jay Schroeder is furiously studying the Raider playbook, and you have some idea of the problems the silver and black are undergoing.
Lots of black, as in clouds. Little in the way of silver, as in linings.
The sad tale of the tape and other assorted bandages is as follows:
--Wide receiver and kick returner Chris Woods, who suffered both ligament and cartilage damage last Sunday when he hurt his knee against the Houston Oilers, has been put on injured reserve and will not be back this year. In fact, said Coach Mike Shanahan, his injury is so serious that it will take extensive rehabilitation just to get him back in time for next year’s training camp.
--Defensive back Terry McDaniel, who suffered a broken right leg Sunday, is also on injured reserve and will be lost for at least six weeks. A first-round pick from Tennessee last spring, McDaniel had won a job on the left corner.
--Offensive lineman Brian Holloway has been put on injured reserve with a separated shoulder and is out indefinitely.
--Offensive lineman Don Mosebar is sidelined with a badly sprained ankle, hurt last Sunday. He is still on the active roster but will miss the Ram game and is uncertain for the following Monday night game against the Denver Broncos.
--Defensive back Lionel Washington, out with a groin injury, won’t play Sunday and, according to Shanahan, “could be a possible candidate for injured reserve” if his condition does not improve.
Also hurting are linebacker Linden King, who has a hamstring problem, and defensive lineman Scott Davis, who has a pulled back muscle.
“Sounds likes ‘MASH,’ doesn’t it?” said Shanahan.
There are reinforcements on the way, such as they are.
Signed Wednesday were defensive backs Stefon Adams and Ron Fellows and offensive lineman Dwight Wheeler, all previously with the club, all previously deemed expendable.
The areas where the injuries have wreaked the most havoc are the offensive line and the defensive backfield.
The offensive line had been one big game of musical chairs anyway. Coming off a year when they never seemed able to put the same offensive line on the field two games in a row, the Raiders opened training camp with John Clay penciled in at the crucial left tackle spot, Charley Hannah at left guard, Mosebar at center, Holloway at right guard and Bruce Wilkerson at right tackle.
Then the fun began. Clay was traded to the San Diego Chargers for Lachey, considered among the best in the business. Mosebar, another anchor in the line, was moved to right tackle, with Bill Lewis taking over at center. One by one, the holes, sometimes evident in last year’s line, were closing.
Until the Schroeder trade. Lachey went to the Washington Redskins and damage control was in order. Mosebar moved over to the left. But Sunday, he moved to the sidelines and the damage seemed beyond control.
At least for the moment.
“In the third quarter, we were just playing dominoes out there,” said Raider assistant coach Alex Gibbs of the period after Mosebar went out. “We didn’t gain anything, and we didn’t keep our defense off the field so they wore out. That’s what happened. By the fourth quarter, we settled down, but the chemistry is still not what we would like.”
The new makeshift lineup for Sunday will have rookie Rory Graves at left tackle, Hannah at left guard, Lewis at center, Wilkerson at right guard and Steve Wright at right tackle.
In the secondary, Dennis Price, a rookie fifth-round draft choice from UCLA, will play the left corner, joining veterans Mike Haynes, who is on the right corner, Stacey Toran at strong safety and Eddie Anderson, filling in for McElroy at free safety.
And if anybody else gets hurt?