At least two Raiders players won’t be around to try to help lead the team to its first victory of the year, according to head coach Tony Sparano, who confirmed today that defensive end LaMarr Woodley and safety Usama Young have season-ending injuries (Twitter link via Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle). According to Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter), practice squad players will likely be promoted to the 53-man roster when Woodley and Young are officially placed on injured reserve.
Woodley, who turns 30 next month, suffered a torn bicep on Sunday, prematurely ending his season and likely his stint with the Raiders as well. The veteran defender signed a two-year deal with the team in the offseason, but the contract didn’t include a signing bonus, which means it’ll be fairly easy for Oakland to get out of at season’s end. With Woodley recovering from this injury, it seems more likely that the Raiders would cut him than commit to a 2015 salary that includes a $3.85MM base and a $1MM bonus due on the fifth day of the ’15 league year.
As for Young, he also signed a two-year contract with the Raiders in the offseason. A frequent contributor on special teams, Young had also taken on a more significant role on defense this season, starting three of the club’s first six contests.
Assuming the Raiders add a pair of defenders to replace their injured players, candidates to be promoted from the practice squad include defensive ends Denico Autry and Shelby Harris, along with linebacker Spencer Hadley, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, and defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin.