Raiders LT Kolton Miller Expected To Be Ready For Week 1

Raiders left tackle Kolton Miller missed four games in 2023 due to a shoulder injury, which also caused him to play less than a full snap share in two other contests. However, it does not sound as if the team has any concerns about his Week 1 availability.

Per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required), Miller is making good progress in his rehab of the offseason surgery he underwent to address the shoulder issue. We had previously heard that Las Vegas will “manage” the blindside blocker this season to keep him healthy — presumably by limiting his workload in practice — so it should be expected that free agent acquisition Andrus Peat will take plenty of reps at LT in training camp and throughout the season, just as he did in last month’s minicamp.

The club has a fair amount of uncertainty at three of its five O-line positions. Dylan Parham, a 2022 third-rounder who has been a full-time starter during his first two years in the league, has taken the vast majority of his snaps at left guard (with generally middling results), but he will be shifitng to right guard for the upcoming season. Second-round rookie Jackson Powers-Johnson will be taking over LG duties, while 2022 seventh-rounder Thayer Munford is penciled in at right tackle. Veteran Andre James remains entrenched at the pivot.

It is a group that is relatively light on experience, making a healthy and productive campaign for Miller and James especially critical. Plus, while Miller is under contract through 2025 by virtue of the three-year, $54MM extension he signed in March 2021, there is no more guaranteed money left on his deal. If he can sustain the high level of play he has demonstrated over the past few seasons and handle a full slate of games, he will position himself nicely for a another lucrative extension.

Miller, who will turn 29 in September, was the first selection of the Raiders’ second Jon Gruden regime and was taken with the No. 15 overall pick of the 2018 draft. At the time, the choice was decried as a reach based on need, and Miller did indeed struggle in his rookie campaign. He showed marked improvement over the following two seasons, and after landing his big-money second contract, he reached new heights. From 2021-2023, Pro Football Focus assigned Miller stellar overall grades of 85.0, 84.1, and 80.2, all of which placed him inside or barely outside the league’s top 10 offensive tackles.

With the other question marks on the O-line and a relatively uninspiring quarterback situation, the Raiders will be counting on a similar showing.

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