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Raiders defense could get worse as injuries mount

Opponents are scoring on 42.3 percent of drives against the Raiders this season, the third worst mark in the NFL.

The Raiders have forced a turnover on just 3.8 percent of opponent drives this season, the second worst mark in the NFL.

The Raiders have a bad defense. And now they an injured defense.

Cornerbacks David Amerson and Gareon Conley missed last week’s game against the Ravens. Amerson sustained a concussion against the Broncos in week four and also has a shoulder injury. Conley has been battling a shin injury since the summer, and could be out a while.

“It’s going a long-term,” head coach Jack Del Rio said earlier this week. “I would hope that it would be resolved at some time in the near future but I think this is an issue that we’re doing the best we can to manage.”

Without two of the team’s best cornerbacks, the Raiders were torched by Joe Flacco. The Ravens quarterback entered last week last in the NFL in yard per attempt at 5.1. His first pass of the game went for 52 yards as the Ravens picked on Sean Smith.

On Sunday, the Raiders fourth cornerback was Antonio Hamilton, he suffered knee injury, leaving Oakland with three healthy cornerbacks.

In response the Raiders signed Demetrius McCray, who played in 46 games over three seasons with the Jaguars, but has not played since the 2015 season.

The secondary hasn’t been good when fully healthy, and now has to turn to players that didn’t make an NFL roster out of the training camp.

The pass defense, which does not have an interception, is likely to get worse.

On top of the injuries in the back end, the Raiders suffered two blows at linebacker as Cory James and Marquel Lee both left Sunday’s game with an injury.

James hurt his knee, Lee has an injured ankle.

If neither can play, the Raiders will be looking at Nicholas Morrow, Tyrell Adams, Xavier Woodson-Luster or James Cowser to fill the void at two linebacker spots. None of those players have ever started an NFL game.

The Raiders defense was not good last season, but they forced enough turnovers - fourth in the NFL in turnover percentage - to help produce victories. This year’s unit is giving points and yards and not creating big plays.

The defense has been beaten up by opponents and injuries just five weeks into 2017.

Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.