Oakland Raiders down to fourth left tackle for opener


As the Oakland Raiders approach Sunday's season opener, they are digging deep for their fourth starting left tackle since training camp opened in late July.

Second-round draft pick Menelik Watson, who showed promising signs in the preseason finale, has been ruled out for Week 1 with a knee injury, the team announced.

The Raiders previously had thrown in the towel on swinging gate Alex Barron after losing starter Jared Veldheer to triceps surgery in mid-August.

Against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, right tackle Khalif Barnes will slide over to Terrelle Pryor's blind side while newly signed veteran Tony Pashos enters the lineup on the right side.

If this was September of 2008, the Raiders would be in fine shape. Then with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Barnes and Pashos paved the way for 236 rushing yards while allowing no sacks in a 23-21 victory at Indianapolis. Six years later, both offensive tackles simply are trying to keep their careers afloat.

Entering the season, the Raiders' offensive line might be rivaled only by the Raiders' quarterbacks as the weakest position group in the league. It's going to be a long season in Oakland.

On the bright side, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater looks even better this year than last.

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