The past month has not been kind to the Oakland Raiders as they have dropped their last four games, including a devastating loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final appearance at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
At 6-8, the Raiders will almost assuredly miss the postseason, which means they will have to answer some tough questions about their roster going forward. Jon Gruden and the front office have accumulated several draft picks in the past couple of seasons, but nailing those selections will be crucial in rebuilding the team.
One of the team’s recent picks, Hunter Renfrow, appears set to return to the lineup after missing the past three games with a rib injury and he spoke about eager he is to get back to playing, via Scott Bair of NBA Sports:
“I felt good today,” Renfrow said. “Being able to go out there and run routes after some time away really makes you appreciate it. There are things you can improve while you’re sitting back and watching, but there’s always that itch to get back.”
Renfrow also remained optimistic about Oakland’s progress as a team and where the direction that they are heading in:
“I think we were starting to hit our stride a little bit and it’s tough to miss time at that point, but those good things you did don’t just go away,” Renfrow said. “Hopefully we’re building something for a while, so we work on things every day at practice and gain confidence from doing that in games.”
The fifth-round pick out of Clemson had begun to build some chemistry with Derek Carr while he was on the field, serving as a safety valve underneath the defense. The wide receiver has managed to record 36 receptions for 396 yards and two touchdowns on the year and appears to have already earned both Gruden and Carr’s trust in the passing game.
Darren Waller has benefitted from Renfrow’s absence as he has often been Carr’s target on shorter throws, but the latter’s return should help the offense move the chains more frequently given their struggles as of late. Renfrow has reliable hands when targeted and has a knack for being able to find soft spots in the defense, often converting those catches for first downs.
Even with the Silver and Black essentially eliminated from the playoffs, now is the time to develop their young players like Renfrow. Hopefully, they improve over the next couple of weeks and show they are worth investing in for the future.
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