The signs were all pointing toward the Raiders needing to find a left tackle to replace Menelik Watson for the opener against the Colts on Sunday and coach Dennis Allen confirmed it on Friday afternoon.
Watson has been ruled out of the contest, which will force the Raiders to shuffle their line one more time before the season gets underway. Khalif Barnes will move from the right side to the left with Tony Pashos taking over at right tackle. Barnes said that he felt good in practice on the left side and said the last-minute switch doesn’t excuse a poor performance.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got two guys hurt, so it’s ‘next man up,’” Barnes said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “I’ve done this position before. It’s been a little while but I’ll get back on the bike and start riding again. It felt good. We’re going to go out and play ball. No excuses. I felt good about it.”
Barnes’ attitude is the right one, but the Raiders offensive line wasn’t looking too hot with Watson healthy so it’s not shaping up to be a strong point of the team this Sunday. The Raiders are expected to make a roster move to add a backup tackle to the roster with practice squadder Matt McCants looking like the choice to move up to the main roster.