Recently, the Las Vegas Raiders appear to have their eyes shifted to next season.
Rightfully so. At 2-6, and the season slipping away after weeks of second-half collapses, the Raiders moved Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow to the IR on Thursday. On Friday afternoon head coach Josh McDaniels provided some needed clarity on the thought process that went into the decision.
The Raiders lost all 3 of these games pic.twitter.com/K6sfFBSFyn
— Farzin Vousoughian (@Farzin21) November 6, 2022
“Just overall health,” McDaniels said. “I think they tried hard to get healthy and be healthy and be their best, and that’s what every player wants to do. And I think it’s very common that you play your best when you feel your best.”
He added: “just give them an opportunity to get truly healthy and feel really good, and then have an opportunity to come out and play their best. And so, those are never easy, none of us want to do that. We obviously have high hopes and expectations for that group as a whole. But I think until we’re out there healthy and ready to roll and doing the things that they know they can do, that we hope that they can do together, it just felt like it was the right thing to do at this point. And then, like I said, hopefully, we’ll get them back and be ready to play the best football that we can play at that point.”
It is not fully throwing in the towel, but it’s admitting things don’t look great for the Raiders right now. And without having them in the lineup, Las Vegas will be forced to adjust the offense somewhat.
Maybe that means finding Adams in critical spaces. It’s been documented the star wide receiver wants that. But it also may mean learning how to spread the ball around.
“Every coach deals with this, where you have the question marks at the beginning of the week,” McDaniels said. “You have to have some contingencies in place, regardless. You do that anyway because there’s a chance that somebody’s going to go down the middle of the game anyway. So, you can’t just go in there with one plan and never change it. That’s impossible. So, you deal with that every week, all year long.
“I think the players are very resilient. Sometimes that gets overblown in terms of how difficult that actually is. They know the system and the scheme, and sometimes it’s just as simple as changing it from one personnel grouping to another. We’re still running the same stuff and those guys understand that. We’ve got a bright group and they acclimate pretty quickly to it, whether it happens in a week or during the course of the game.”
Week-to-week adjustments may not be in the cards for Las Vegas. At 2-6, playoff hopes are a far cry. It’s time to pack up shop and start focusing on the next season. Injuries be damned.
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