LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Raiders will be without a pair of Pro Bowlers at the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, as the Raiders jettisoned their leading pass catcher and their leading tackler from last season.
Slot receiver Hunter Renfro (concussion) and linebacker Denzel Berryman (ankle) will not play, and starting running back Josh Jacobs (illness) will not travel with the team to Nashville on Friday.
A pair of AFC playoff teams last season, the Raiders and Titans are both looking for their first win in Week 3.
“You’re always trying to build depth on your roster so you can accommodate situations like this,” Raiders first-year coach Josh McDaniels said earlier in the day.
“We’ve tried to preach since we’ve been here — learn the concept, not a place in the concept … So from the beginning we’ve kind of preached, why, and learn the big concept. Picture, because it can happen in sports, and all of a sudden you practice it in a way, Then you have an injury or two, and now all of a sudden you’re in the middle of the first or second quarter and you don’t have time for a week of practice and four meets before you get back out there.”
Renfrow, who caught 103 passes last season, took hits to the head in consecutive games on Sunday, including a fumble on the last play that led to a 59-yard scoop-and-score walk-off victory for the Arizona Cardinals. Renfro is coming off the concussion protocol.
With Renfrow out, the Raiders could move All-Pro Davante Adams inside, while Keelan Cole is technically Renfrow’s backup.
“I always keep my head down and wait for the next opportunity,” said Sepp. 13 after starting the season on the practice squad.
“I’m actually doing my part. That’s the thing — if you’re worrying about everything, you’re not going to get your part right.”
Berryman, who had 154 tackles in 2021, has not played since suffering an injury in the season opener. Dwayne DeBlo and Jayon Brown were the Raiders’ starting linebackers last week against the Cardinals, with DeBlo wearing a green dot communication helmet.
Jacobs, meanwhile, practiced Wednesday and made his first appearance on the team’s injury report Thursday after rushing for 126 yards in two games. Brandon Bolton, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, was a full participant on Friday and was injury-free for the Titans game. The Raiders also have three other running backs in Ameer Abdullah, and Jameer White and Britton Brown, and fullback Jacob Johnson.
“Our depth in the backfield has already been challenged a little bit by a few things here and there, injury-wise, so that’s why we usually carry that number of pins,” McDaniels said. “I mean, it’s going to be a little bit wetter down there, different overall humidity than it is here. But whatever shape that takes, I’m not exactly sure yet, but we’re definitely going to try to maintain a balance. We’re always trying to do that, get those guys right to the best of their abilities. In-vessel usage will be key. So, we’ll see how it shakes out this week.”