CLEVELAND – Defensive tackle Justin Ellis injured his left ankle early in the Raiders’ season-opening loss to Cincinnati. The second year pro hoped to return the following week, but that desire proved unrealistic.
After two weeks, his ailing joint still isn’t ready. The Raiders ruled Ellis out of Sunday’s game at the Cleveland Browns on Friday’s official injury report. The 6-foot-2, 334-pound rhino will miss his second straight game, an absence that hinders the Raiders interior run defense.
Recently re-signed veteran C.J. Wilson will start for Ellis in the Raiders base defense. Stacy McGee will also rotate in with Wilson alongside veteran Dan Williams.
Living without Ellis isn’t ideal. He made an immediate impact as a rookie, when he proved to be solid at gap control and run defense.
The Raiders have to carry on without him.
“We have to, certainly, understand who we have (available),” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. “Guys are stepping in, next man up. We’re going in the right direction.”
It’s uncertain how long Ellis will be out, though he’s believed to be getting closer to a return. Defensive end/linebacker Benson Mayowa remains out with a knee strain that has impacted him nearly a month now.
Veteran safety Charles Woodson (shoulder) and defensive end Justin Tuck (knee) are set to play Sunday despite missing the week’s padded practice. Both players are listed as probable and should play significant snaps. Woodson will continue to play with a harness protecting his right shoulder, as he did last week.
Raiders injury report
Out: DE/LB Benson Mayowa (knee), Justin Ellis (ankle)
Questionable: FB Jamize Olawale (ankle)
Probable: S Charles Woodson (shoulder), DE Justin Tuck (knee)
Browns injury report
Out: RB Robert Turbin (concussion), LB Scott Solomon (ankle), K’Waun Williams (concussion)
Questionable: DE Desmond Bryant (shoulder), CB Justin Gilbert (hamstring)
Probable: LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), T Mitchell Schwartz (thumb), QB Johnny Manziel (right elbow), QB Josh McCown (concussion)