The Raiders lost one starting wideout in the first quarter when Michael Crabtree was ejected for fighting with Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and they lost a second in the second quarter when Amari Cooper suffered a concussion.
Cooper was hit in the head by Broncos safety Darian Stewart while reaching for a pass from Derek Carr and went directly to the ground in a scary scene. He was ultimately helped off by trainers and Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said after the game that he thinks the league should consider disciplining Stewart.
“It was a vicious hit, the kind we’re trying to remove from our game, quite frankly,” Del Rio said, via ESPN.com. “You see less and less of those. I’m sure the league will take a hard look at it. Those are the kinds of impact hits that don’t need to be a part of our game right now. The guy is clearly defenseless and got targeted right in the head. There’s a chance to hit in the strike zone and be somewhere else and not be there like that.”
Carr said “it rips my heart out” when he throws a ball that results in a receiver getting injured and had to “hold back the emotions” after Cooper’s injury. He said he spoke to Cooper after the game and was confident the receiver will be OK, but it remains to be seen how soon he’ll progress through the concussion protocol.