For myriad reasons, the bye is coming at a good time for the Oakland Raiders.
Never mind the fact that the team is 1-5, and coming off the heels of a rough international showing against the Seattle Seahawks, but Head Coach Jon Gruden's team has been bitten – pretty severely – by the injury bug.
Following Sunday's loss at Wembley Stadium, Gruden acknowledged that his team came out of the game banged up, and Tuesday afternoon – his first comments since that time – he doubled down on that fact, starting off his press conference with a long list of the ailments currently plaguing the Raiders roster.
"As far as injuries go, [DT] Frostee Rucker is improving," said Gruden. "He has a neck strain and we hope to have him back for the Colts game. [G] Kelechi Osemele is making improvements. We are optimistic, but we will update you next week on his knee. [S] Karl Joseph is improving and was close. We were hoping he could play in London but hopefully we have him ready to go after the bye. [WR] Seth Roberts and [WR] Amari Cooper are currently in the concussion protocol. We think they are making progress. We will have to update you next week, obviously, we are still concerned."
Although quarterback Derek Carr didn't technically miss any snaps Sunday evening against the Seahawks, following a left shoulder injury midway through the fourth quarter, had the Raiders gotten the ball back, A.J. McCarron would have gone the rest of the way, so No. 4 was also present on Gruden's injury update.
"Derek Carr is sore, but we think he is going to be okay," Gruden said. "[G/C] Jon Feliciano, with his ribs, is very sore. I think there is a chance we could get him back. [RB] Marshawn Lynch, we are concerned about, has a groin strain. There is a lengthy list of injuries and we will use the bye accordingly to get some men well."
In terms of Lynch's injury, Gruden wasn't willing to delve too deeply into specifics, only to say that he was indeed concerned about the powerful running back.
"I just said he [Lynch] has a groin that we're concerned about," Gruden explained. "He's going to be evaluated further. I don't want to say anything other than any time a man like this is sore, I'm concerned. We'll get him checked out and get it to you as soon as possible."
So yeah, as we said earlier, the bye is coming at a good time for the Silver and Black.
After a long weekend away from 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, the team will return to work Monday morning in advance of their Week 8 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Coach Gruden discussed what ultimately led to parting ways with Derrick Johnson and promoting Jason Cabinda to the active roster:
"He [Johnson] delivered some of the things we wanted. Obviously, helping our young linebacking core. Guys like Marquel Lee, Nick Morrow and Jason Cabinda in particular. Cabinda had generated a lot of interest from other teams. We didn't want to lose him. It was a tough decision and we got to try and improve our run defense. We are going to give Cabinda a shot."
He also spoke about the message he shared with the team before they left for the bye week:
"I left them with a pretty clear message. I don't want to really get any further into it with anybody else. I'll say this, we aren't tanking anything. I hear the hatred out there, some of the rumors that we are tanking it to get a first round pick or a higher pick. We are not getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning to tank it. Ain't nobody tanking it. I don't know who wrote that or who said that or who thinks that, but that isn't the case here. We are going to continue to work hard, continue to build our team and that was part of the message."
Coach Gruden also said he's been pleased with the play of cornerback Daryl Worley:
"We really like Worley. We really like him. We feel like he's worked himself into a good rhythm. Two of the passes that were caught down the field were spectacular throws and catches. You can't really fault the coverage. You'd like to see him pry the ball out of there. Hopefully he'll do that the next time. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the other guy. They have players too. [Russell] Wilson made four or five throws and his receivers made plays. But we like what Worley is doing. Not only in coverage, but he's a good tackler. He's a reliable player. He's done well for us at right corner."
You can read Gruden's full comments from Tuesday's press conference, here.