The Oakland Raiders are still unsure when they’ll get injured center Rodney Hudson back in the lineup. Oakland’s biggest acquisition during free agency, Hudson is nursing a sprained right ankle that has kept him on the sidelines for two games this season.
Hudson did not play in Sunday’s come-from-behind win over Tennessee and his status is uncertain for this week’s game against AFC West rival Kansas City. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound offensive lineman was in a walking boot last week and was held out of practices after taking 32 snaps in an 18-13 loss to Detroit on Nov. 22.
“He’s day-to-day at this point,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’ll see how the week goes and if we can get him back in practicing then we’ll be ready to go.”
Tony Bergstrom, who started both games in which Hudson did not play, will continue to work with Oakland’s first-team offense until Hudson returns.
As the first draft pick by Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in 2012, Bergstrom took a lot of heat early in his career. He played in nine games as a backup guard and tackle during his rookie season, missed all of 2013 with a foot injury then was a healthy inactive for all 16 games in 2015.
Bergstrom has graded out well as a starter, though the Raiders offense has not been as efficient in recent weeks as it was with Hudson in the lineup.
“Possibly on a call here or there, just the clarity of it, the confidence of it,” Del Rio said. “I think for the most part Tony [Bergstrom]’s done a pretty good job of filling in. Rodney is a Pro Bowl-level player in my opinion. So when you’re missing him, yeah, you’re missing one of your better players. But we feel like we have a good group.”
Oakland’s offensive line has held up fairly well without Hudson, who signed a five-year, $44.5 million contract in the offseason to become the team’s highest-paid player. The Raiders have allowed just 14 sacks, tied with the New York Jets for fewest in the NFL.
They’ve given up three sacks in the two games Bergstrom has started, although he has not allowed one yet, according to ProFootballFocus.com.