If last Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers is any indication, former first-round pick Gareon Conley is about to be handed a reduced role moving forward on the defense of the Oakland Raiders.
According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, Conley was replaced at cornerback by veteran Daryl Worley for the majority of Sunday’s loss to the Chargers.
Despite just returning from a four-game suspension, Worley played 49 of the Raiders’ 64 defensive snaps with Conley being relegated to just 12 defensive snaps. Conley has started all five games this season after playing in just two games last year for Oakland.
“Worley is a good player,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “Gareon had a couple of struggles … (and we’re) trying to find a right mix, trying to find a right mix at a lot of positions. Daryl Worley is a good player. I think he was second on our team in tackles. He earned a right to be out there.”
One of the 12 snaps Conley was on the field, Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams caught a 48-yard pass behind Conley on a play that Raiders coaches indicated was Conley’s responsibility.
“He is learning a lot of things,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said of Conley. “Unfortunately, he gives up the one play off the goal line and we are in a pretty good call to stop it.”
“Worley came in and played really good for his first game,” Guenther added. “That added an extra guy to the mix so it’s a battle at corner right now … everybody is competing for jobs and we are going to go with the hot hand.”
If Worley is the hot hand, then it would appear that Conley is not. Worley played the reps of a starting cornerback last Sunday against the Chargers. He might get the official nod this Sunday in London against the Seattle Seahawks.