When the Patriots come to town, it helps to have a full complement of defensive backs to do battle with them.
The Raiders aren’t going to be so lucky on Sunday. Chris Johnson has been ruled out of the contest thanks to a hamstring injury that he suffered in last week’s victory over the Jets. Coach Hue Jackson wasn’t crying in his soup, however.
“Next man up. Next man up; can’t worry about it. I mean he’s out, he’s out and the next guy’s got to play,” Jackson said.
Rookie Chimdi Chekwa, a fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, is the next man up for the Raiders. Compounding the worries for the Raiders defense is the fact that defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and safety Michael Huff also missed practice on Friday. Shaughnessy has a shoulder injury and Huff still hasn’t received clearance to return to work after a concussion. Both men are listed as questionable.
The Raiders defense played pretty well against the Jets last week, but still gave up 369 yards passing to Mark Sanchez. You can expect Tom Brady to test Chekwa, Stanford Routt and everybody else early and often come Sunday.