Ren­frow goes out with rib in­jury

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jerry Mc­Don­ald

ALAMEDA » Hunter Ren­frow, the rookie who has be­come one of Derek Carr’s most trusted re­ceivers, faces an ex­tended ab­sence with a rib in­jury sus­tained against the New York Jets.

Ren­frow re­turned home on the team char­ter fol­low­ing the 34-3 loss, and coach Jon Gru­den de­liv­ered the bad news Monday at his weekly press con­fer­ence

“Hunter Ren­frow hurt his rib,” Gru­den said. “He’s go­ing to be out for a while. Big loss for our team.”

Ac­cord­ing to the NFL Net­work’s Ian Rapoport, Ren­frow has a bro­ken rib and a punc­tured lung. Gru­den did not get into specifics.

“I’m not go­ing to get into the sever­ity be­cause I re­ally don’t know,” Gru­den said. “We’re look­ing at his ribs. As soon as I get the of­fi­cial, ex­act de­ter­mi­na­tion I’ll let you know.”

Ren­frow went down on a thir­dand-2 play, an in­com­plete pass from Carr in which he was hit by Jets’ cor­ner­back Bless Austin. He spent time gath­er­ing him­self on his hands and knees while be­ing

at­tended to by the Raiders’ train­ing staff.

The sixth-round draft pick out of Clem­son re­turned to the game, fin­ished with two re­cep­tions for 31 yards and took a se­cond hit from the Jets’ Henry An­der­son. Ren­frow was slow to rise and in some dis­com­fort, but told re­porters af­ter­ward he had merely had the wind knocked out of him.

Ren­frow is the Raiders se­cond-leading re­ceiver be­hind tight end Dar­ren Waller with 36 re­cep­tions, and his 396 yards re­ceiv­ing trails only Waller (707) and Tyrell Wil­liams (32 re­cep­tions, 480 yards). With 53 tar­gets, Ren­frow has been the se­cond-most pop­u­lar re­ceiver for Carr be­hind Waller.

Wide re­ceiver has been a game of mu­si­cal chairs for Gru­den, of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Ol­son and re­ceivers coach Edgar Ben­nett since the start of the reg­u­lar season start­ing with the re­lease of An­to­nio Brown head­ing into the opener. Three re­ceivers who be­gan in the season with the Raiders are no longer on the 53-man ros­ter. Vet­er­ans Ryan Grant and J.J. Nel­son were re­leased and Dwayne Harris is on in­jured re­serve.

With su­pe­rior routerun­ning skills and a feel for work­ing in­side, Ren­frow will be dif­fi­cult to re­place in the slot. Can­di­dates to re­place Ren­frow in­clude Kee­lan Doss, the un­drafted rookie free agent out of Alameda High and U.C. Davis, and Zay Jones, an in-season ac­qui­si­tion from Buf­falo. Gru­den said tight ends Waller and Derek Car­rier are also in the mix.

In-season arrivals Jones and Trevor Davis, who came from Green Bay, have yet to gain trac­tion in terms of be­ing a trusted tar­get for Carr on game day. De­spite play­ing 226 snaps in the past five games, Jones has been tar­geted only 14 times and has 11 re­cep­tions for 88 yards.

Davis, who re­turns kick­offs and punts, had played only one snap in the three games be­fore get­ting 17 snaps against the Jets. Two balls were thrown to him but nei­ther was com­plete.

Gru­den con­ceded there was a pos­si­bil­ity Ren­frow could be lost for the last five games of the season.

“We’ll see the sever­ity of it. We’ll never put any­body at risk,” Gru­den said. “There is a pos­si­bil­ity. We just need to make sure he sees the people he needs to see and we make the de­ci­sion based on med­i­cal ex­ams. We’re con­cerned, dis­ap­pointed. We’ll miss him.”


Raiders wide re­ceiver Hunter Ren­frow warms up be­fore a game against the New York Jets on Sun­day in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

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