Earlier this week Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts revealed he was playing through a double hernia last season. But his coach didn’t know.
“It was news to me,” Jack Del Rio said of Roberts’ injury.
Roberts had a disappointing season, where he dropped five passes and saw his receiving yardage drop from his rookie season. He only caught 49 percent of passes intended for him, worst on the team.
But Roberts seems to have a solid reason for his slight decline.
“Yeah I played through the season with an injury but sometimes you gotta do that,” Roberts told Silver & Black Pride. “That’s what we go through. That’s the nature of our game. You gotta just go with it.”
For a head coach, it isn’t ideal to have players hiding injuries. But Del Rio sees the benefit of the warrior mentality.
“I certainly appreciate guys that are out there for their teammates,” Del Rio said after practice on Thursday. “We want them to be smart. I’d like for them to report anything they have. But I respect his decision to just keep it to himself and play.”
After finishing third on the team in receptions last season Roberts might find himself as the fourth option this year. With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree still standing as the top two receivers and the addition of Jared Cook at tight end, Roberts may be the one to benefit from sliding out of opponents’ minds.
Even the running backs may steal targets – and push Roberts down opponents’ scouting reports – as Marshawn Lynch averaged 31 receptions in his best four-year stretch at Seattle and DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard combined for 46 receptions out of the backfield last year.
In two seasons Roberts has not missed a game and has 70 catches for 877 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Derek Carr will have plenty of options to distribute the ball to, as the Raider offense should be among the best in the NFL, especially if everyone is playing healthy and not through double hernias.
Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.