The Oakland Raiders got dominated last Sunday against the New York Jets 34-3. Oakland did not only lose the game but lost a key player to their offense. Rookie slot receiver Hunter Renfrow got hurt against the Jets suffering a broken rib and a punctured lung. The rookie receiver may be out for the season, but the Raiders are still looking into the severity of the injury before they decide to put him on the injured reserve list or not. With the Raiders in for the playoff push, it is a huge loss for the team; Renfrow is second on the team in catches with 36 catches. Also, he has 396 receiving yards and two touchdowns. With Renfrow gone, the Raiders have many different options they could use in the slot.
Another rookie Keelan Doss, who saw time in the slot early this season, but he has been inactive the last four weeks for the Raiders. So far this season, Doss only has six catches for 79 yards in a limited role. It could be a chance for Doss to prove his worth to the Raiders for the next few weeks. He 6’3 and is pretty good at making contested catches; it may be time to see what he can do in an extended role.
Tight end Darren Waller can also see some time in the slot. Waller leads the Raiders in receptions with 59 and receiving yards 707. With another critical Raider receiver out, look for Waller to get even more attention from opposing teams defenses. If Waller moves to the slot, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier could see more time at the tight end spot.
Zay Jones and Trevor Davis
Zay Jones is another possibility; he played a lot of slot receiver in his college days at Eastern Carolina. Jones has mostly been used as an outside receiver with the Raiders. In five games with the Raiders, Jones has 11 catches for 88 yards. Trevor Davis could be another possibility, he has not been used much as a receiver, but with his quickness and speed, he could be a capable slot receiver as well.
It will be interesting to see What the Raiders will do with the slot receiver position. Whatever they decide to do, it needs to be figured out quickly because of a big AFC West showdown looms this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. No Matter who plays the slot the Raiders receiving core needs to step up and makes plays, too many dropped balls the last couple of weeks.