The Oakland Raiders have been hampered by injuries for most of the 2019 season, most recently in their secondary with Karl Joseph and Lamarcus Joyner both getting hurt in Thursday night’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Joseph’s injury was serious as he broke his foot and was placed on injured reserve, marking an end to his 2019 season. Joyner could miss the next couple of games but is considered week-to-week with a hamstring injury, so his is less serious.
The Raiders will need to find replacements for both players though and one safety they brought in through free agency was D.J. Swearinger. The seven-year NFL veteran has now played on four different teams since being drafted in the second round in 2013 out of South Carolina.
“They got grit, man, and it starts with the head coach,” he explained. “I love the head coach; I’ve always loved Coach Gruden. Way back in college from him with the Monday Nights. Just being on a team with a coach like that I know we’re going to bring it every time we step on the field, he expects that. The guys in the locker room – there’s some young guys – they’re talented and they want to go to work.”
Swearinger played for Gruden’s brother Jay on the Washington Redskins in 2017 and 2018. Gruden has had the chance to meet him on multiple occasions so was excited to bring him in after the injuries to Joseph and Joyner:
“I like Swearinger,” Gruden said blatantly Monday. “He played with my brother in Washington and I was a broadcaster. At one point I spent a lot of time at South Carolina with my friend [Steve] Spurrier, so I know a little bit about Swearinger. I think he’s a good player. He’s just got to put it all together. That’s what he needs to do and he’s got to start that process today. We need the very best of Swearinger and we need guys like [Dallin] Leavitt and we need these other safeties to step up as well, just like Erik Harris has done.”
It’s unclear how quickly Swearinger will be able to get on the field, but he said the system he ran with the Arizona Cardinals to start this season is similar to Oakland’s, which means it could be as soon as this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals if he is able to get up to speed in practice during the week.
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