ALAMEDA – Injuries keep hindering Menelik Watson’s progress.
A calf injury took the rookie offensive lineman out of training camp, but he recovered in the nick of time to earn a starting spot at left tackle. On Wednesday, just days away from his regular-season debut, Watson got hurt again.
He tweaked his knee in Wednesday’s practice and was pulled from the session.
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“I don’t know the extent of it,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ll find it out later. He was limited.”
Watson started off as Plan C at left tackle. Jared Veldheer was the first option, and he partially tore a triceps muscle that will keep out until midseason at least. Veteran Alex Barron was next up, but his performance didn’t warrant playing time. Now he’s on the street.
Watson, a second-round pick who played right tackle exclusively in college, was moved to the left after a week’s practice and a solid exhibition against Seattle. Despite relative inexperience, Watson was the Raiders best bet to replace Veldheer.
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The extent of Watson’s injury remains unknown, but an ailment that keeps him out against the Colts would further dwindle the Raiders options.
Plan D isn’t attractive. Allen said that right tackle Khalif Barnes would move to left tackle and recently signed veteran Tony Pashos would step in and play right tackle.