Left tackle Jared Veldheer’s torn triceps may not wind up ending his season, but he’s going to be out for a while and that’s forcing the Raiders to reevaluate their offensive plans for the seasons.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that the team wasn’t able to fully install the power blocking scheme they had in mind for the running game this season before Veldheer was injured and that the final two preseason games will tell them if they’ll be able to make full use of it once the season gets underway. Even if Olson decides that the remaining offensive linemen can run that scheme effectively, he knows that the offense will be hamstrung without Veldheer on the field.
“I think it changes how we’re going to use everybody,” Olson said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “It’ll impact how I use Darren McFadden, it will impact how I use Marcel Reece. You don’t lose a player like that and think you’re not going to have to change some things or do some things differently.”
Based on the way new left tackle Alex Barron and the rest of the line looked against the Saints last week, Veldheer’s absence is going to be felt in the passing game as much, if not more, than it’ll be felt in the running game. If the group doesn’t get find a way to jell into a more effective unit quickly, it’s probably going to be another long season for the Raiders offense.