Raiders News: Jon Gruden Sees Keelan Doss Getting Time As Slot Receiver With Hunter Renfrow Out

The Oakland Raiders have had some poor injury luck during their 2019 NFL campaign. Despite that, they have persevered and have had one of their best and most exciting seasons in years.

However, the bad-luck spell continued as the news broke that rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow suffered a broken rib and punctured lung during the Raiders’ Week 12 loss to the New York Jets. Renfrow was just starting to find his stride with the team, earning his second start this past Sunday.

With Renfrow out, the Raiders will once again be strapped for receivers, a similar trend since the offseason. According to Scott Blair of NBC Sports, head coach Jon Gruden will be considering utilizing undrafted rookie Keelan Doss in addition to some others to replace Renfrow in the slot:

Gruden listed off an few options to replace Renfrow in the slot. Keelan Doss was the first. He has experience and ability to play inside, but had a tough time earning an active roster spot on game day. Zay Jones played a ton in the slot in college but hasn’t done much of that here and hasn’t become a primary target after being acquired from Buffalo.

Tight ends Darren Waller and Derek Carrier can move around the formation. Waller already plays some in the slot, though coverage will follow him anywhere.

With Doss’s name being tossed out first it seems he may be the front runner to see extended playing time. The Alameda native would surely relish the opportunity to see the field as he has been relegated to the bench since the arrival of Zay Jones. Although he still needs to find his footing as a pro, it could be fun to watch him figure it out on the field down the stretch of the season.

Jones has not been a particular standout this year but has done well coming in and converting on short passes from Derek Carr. He has also been incredibly reliable, catching 11 of his 14 targets.

There is really no bad option as all of the players mentioned have been performing well for Oakland. Of course, Darren Waller has broken out to become one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Should he see an expanded role, the defensive presence surrounding him would increase even more from what he has already seen.

Lastly, losing Renfrow could largely affect how the team utilizes Tyrell Williams. He has been quiet in his last few games, so he may be called upon more often moving forward. No matter who gets Renfrow’s time, there will be no replacing what he has brought to the team in recent weeks, becoming Carr’s most-reliable safety net on third down.

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