Lynch (groin) won't be eligible to return from injured reserve this season after the Raiders used their second and last designated-for-return spot Thursday on offensive tackle Donald Penn (leg), Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Since Lynch was shuttled to IR on Oct. 22 shortly after undergoing surgery to repair a torn groin, he wouldn't have been able to play until at least Week 16 in light of the mandated eight-week shutdown period. Coach Jon Gruden offered little optimism Monday that Lynch would be ready to practice in the near future, so it's not too surprising that the Raiders have decided to close the book on his campaign. With Lynch hitting free agency this spring and set to turn 33 years old in April, it's not unreasonable to suspect his NFL career might be over. Lynch had previously retired from the NFL in 2016 before being lured back last season to join his hometown squad, but the idea of returning to the Raiders may not be as appealing with the team relocating to Las Vegas as soon as 2019 and no later than 2020.
Head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that he still doesn't know if Lynch (groin) will be able to return this season, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports. Gruden said a little over a month ago that he was uncertain about Lynch's availability for the remainder of the season, and he provided the same answer Monday when asked. Gruden did say he "thinks Lynch is getting better," but added that Lynch is rehabbing on his own and the process is being overseen by the training staff, which is an indication he may not know precisely where Lynch stands in his recovery. This leaves the door slightly open for Lynch to play before the season ends, but with just four regular-season weeks to go, that seems unlikely and would leave him little-to-no time to make a fantasy impact should he get back on the field. Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will continue sharing the bulk of the work in the Raiders backfield for now, and likely the rest of the way.
Coach Jon Gruden isn't confident Lynch (groin) will return this season, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. "I don't know, Gruden said Monday. "I would say it would be very difficult, but I'm never going to shut the door with a guy like that." NFL teams can designate just two players to return from injured reserve during a given season, and among 10 Raiders on the list Gruden specifically mentioned defensive tackle Justin Ellis (foot) and tackle Donald Penn (leg) as candidates. In the case of Lynch, he was forced to IR due to a groin injury that required surgery Oct. 18, placing his earliest possible return date Dec. 24 against the Broncos. In his stead, Oakland will have a fairly even split of snaps between Doug Martin (28 offensive snaps Sunday against the Colts) and pass-catching back Jalen Richard (22).
Lynch underwent surgery Oct. 18 to repair his groin and is hopeful to return form injured reserve when first eligible Week 16 against the Broncos, Jordan Schultz of ESPN reports. Since Lynch's move to IR coming out of the Raiders' bye required him to miss at least eight weeks, the running back went under the knife to permanently fix the groin injury, which had been a nuisance through the team's first six contests. The Raiders will likely turn to Doug Martin and Jalen Richard as their primary options out of the backfield while Lynch is out of commission for the next two months, but if he heals as anticipated, the 32-year-old could factor into the mix for the final two games of the campaign. A free agent after the season, Lynch may not be eager to keep playing in 2019 after previously retiring once before, so he likely has some incentive to rehab hard and try to make one last appearance in his hometown of Oakland in Week 16.
The Raiders placed Lynch (groin) on injured reserve Monday, the team's official site reports. During the Raiders' Week 7 bye, coach Jon Gruden raised concerns about Lynch's lingering groin injury, which had hindered him for most of the season. An MRI eventually revealed that Lynch would require at least a month of recovery and potentially force the veteran running back to injured reserve. The Raiders choose the latter for Lynch, forcing him to miss at least the next eight games. During his absence, Doug Martin and Jalen Richard are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries, but DeAndre Washington may also get in on the act.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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