Raiders To Place Hunter Renfrow On IR

Both of Davante Adams‘ top sidekicks will miss at least the next four games. Following the decision to place Darren Waller on IR, the Raiders will move Hunter Renfrow to the injury list, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Renfrow is dealing with an oblique injury, per Schefter. He appeared on Las Vegas’ injury report with hamstring and rib injuries, getting in a limited practice Wednesday. Rather than aim to fight through these maladies to face the Colts, Renfrow will be shut down until at least Week 14.

Unlike Waller, Renfrow has been available in recent weeks. The fourth-year slot receiver’s two missed games occurred in Weeks 3 and 4. Upon returning, however, Renfrow has not come close to the pace he was on in Jon Gruden‘s offense. The recently extended receiver has just 21 catches for 192 yards and no touchdowns in six games this season. Renfrow, 26, caught 103 passes for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns last season, putting the former Day 3 draftee in position for a big 2022 payday.

The Raiders went to great lengths to lock in their top aerial personnel long term this offseason. They completed a tag-and-trade exchange with the Packers for Adams and gave him a then-record-setting five-year, $140MM extension. Derek Carr signed next, with Renfrow’s deal following during the summer. Just before Week 1, the team completed complex negotiations to finalize Waller’s contract.

Renfrow’s contract is the shortest, running through 2024. But he is tied to a $16MM-per-year accord, separating him from most pure slot players. The early returns in Josh McDaniels‘ offense have disappointed. Despite McDaniels’ Patriots attack churning out All-Pro seasons from Wes Welker and quality work from his successor (Julian Edelman), Renfrow has not taken flight. The Raiders have leaned more on low-cost free agency addition Mack Hollins compared to their well-paid slot. Hollins should be expected to shoulder more of the workload going forward, though the Raiders are not in a contending position at the midseason point.

The Adams-Waller-Renfrow trio has played just 62 snaps together this season, per The Athletic’s Tashan Reed (on Twitter). Adams also faces a possible suspension for shoving a cameraman following the Raiders’ last-second loss to the Chiefs. The Raiders have slunk to 2-6, losing a Week 8 shutout in New Orleans and blowing a 17-point lead in Jacksonville.

Despite his underwhelming start as Raiders HC, McDaniels is not believed to be on the hot seat. But his prospects for fielding a consistent offense took a major hit with Thursday’s developments. The Raiders have Hollins in place as a key auxiliary target. Keelan Cole and DJ Turner are the only other wideouts on the active roster. That will change soon. The Raiders traded their 2022 first-round pick for Adams, but they have their 2023 top choice. Considering the team’s record and minimized offensive personnel, that suddenly becomes more relevant.

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