Chaz Schilens has had an injury plagued short career thus far in the NFL. He was out much of last season due to injury and then right after missing all of mini camps and OTA's this offseason with a foot injury, he is injured yet again. This time it is his knee. Tom Cable touched on Schilens' situation in a conference call this morning when speaking of who will return to practice on Tuesday:
"The only guy who probably we won't get back looks to be Chaz Schilens," Cable said. "He's actually seeing a specialist for a knee issue and he may need a scope procedure done... I'm very concerned, it's been a tough road for him. We get through the foot thing now and something else just came up for him. But we'll take care of it and get him back as soon as we can."
It is an utmost certainty he won't be back this preseason but the question is whether he will be back for the start of the regular season. That is up in the air at the moment but the prognosis doesn't look good at the moment. Usually a player needs between 2 and 4 weeks minimum to recover from these kind of procedures and that is if there is nothing major to repair. With the season coming up in less than three weeks, there is indeed cause for some concern.
The Raiders did get Jacoby Ford back last week and will have Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey back at practice this week. Cable claims that he is happy going into the season with the group he has even without Schilens but I am sure he along with everyone else would feel a whole lot better with Chaz out there on the field.
There is of course one player Cable could speak glowingly about. As if Kamerion Wimbley hadn't already gotten a great deal of praise from Cable before he had his four sacks in the Bears game on Saturday. Now Cable really has a lot to talk about. Kind of an "I told ya so" moment except I am not sure anyone was skeptical when he mentioned Wimbley practice last week. Cable has been an extremely open and candid coach during his short time as the Raiders head coach and the media appreciates it and takes him at his word most of the time. Here is what he had to say about Wimbley on Monday:
"I think he is who we thought he was," Cable says as he takes a page out of Dennis Green's book. "He played outside linebacker at Cleveland, that's what he has been known for, he's done a fine job of it here. And our plan all along as we talked about was to use him on third down in terms of rushing the passer. He showed up the other night so that's exciting for our team but I think he is exactly who we thought.
"He is a dynamic rusher is terms of what he is doing with his hands and his pass rush moves, he works on it diligently. To me, I think if you look back on the history of him even coming out of Florida State, that's always been his one real niche is the fact that he could get to the quarterback, so I just think it is the combination of his speed, athleticism, when a guy understands what he's doing in terms of technique when he's rushing the passer."
On a less inspiring note, Cable went on to speak of the Fullbacks on the roster.
Fullback has been the most open competition in camp thus far. So much so that Cable switched rookie defensive end Alex Daniels to fullback to see if he could distinguish himself at the position. In previous conversations Cable had used Daniels as an example of undrafted free agents that have stood out. In the Bears game Daniels was to see his first action in that role. He was put in as the goal line short yardage blocking fullback-- and he didn't look good. This time when talk of the fullback position came up, Daniels wasn't even mentioned:
"I think we are getting some nice play out of Marcel Reece, I think he is improving definitely, even if you take away the screen play he made a nice run on. I like where he's going as a blocker, he's becoming more and more physical with each game and he certainly understands now what we're asking him to do. He's been good at pass protection and I think he's improving and that's good to see. Manase Tonga he has shown some things being physical and asserting himself in that way, caught the ball well the other night. It was good to get Luke Lawton back in the mix, he's been out for quite some time. So I think there is some good competition there."
Some good competition is a nice way of putting it. Although it is disappointing none of them has really stepped up and taken the starting job. The fact that Daniels is still being tried out there and Lawton is still on the squad despite being suspended the first two games of the season is evidence of that.Follow Levi on Twitter @LeviDamien or befriend him on Facebook