Oakland remains committed to run, expects Osemele back
Last Thursday, the Oakland Raiders had to make do without Kelechi Osemele — the team’s nastiest offensive lineman — in their 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 6-foot-5, 330-pound left guard, who was a late scratch due to illness, revealed on Tuesday that a kidney stone had knocked him out of the AFC West showdown.
“It kind of felt like razor blades, you know?” Osemele told ESPN, adding that he expects to play on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Even with Osemele absent, the Raiders rushed for 135 yards, but the team also abandoned the run during a crucial sequence on the final drive.
Facing a third-and-one at the Chiefs’ 14-yard line, Derek Carr threw an incomplete pass to Andre Holmes.
“It would have made a lot of sense to run it right there,” head coach Jack Del Rio admitted during his press conference on Monday. “So, as we look at it as a staff, we’re going, ‘Jeez. What the heck?’”
Right tackle Austin Howard then false started on fourth-and-one before Carr missed Seth Roberts on a fade route. When Latavius Murray was informed of Del Rio’s comments, the running back supported his head coach’s play calling.
“I know everybody wants to maybe talk about what we should have done and maybe it’s one of those things that Jack wishes he would have done differently,” Murray told reporters on Tuesday. “But again, I trust in everything that he does and every call that comes from downstairs.”
Murray, who produced his second 100-yard game of the season against the Chiefs while running a season-high 22 times, will face a stout run defense at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The Chargers have allowed the fifth-fewest yards-per attempt in the NFL.
“I believe in this staff, the process, the team. So, we’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing,” Murray said. “We’ve been doing great things, so we’re not going to let this game let us think anything else but that.”