Raiders OL Barnes Suffers Fractured Ankle

By  | 

NAPA, Calif. (AP) - Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Khalif Barnes was expected to miss the start of the regular season after an MRI revealed a fractured left ankle.

Barnes, who signed a one-year contract with the Raiders in March, was injured when offensive lineman James Marten blocked defensive end Ryan Boschetti into the back of Barnes' left leg during a team scrimmage Tuesday. Barnes collapsed in a heap and lay prone for several moments as trainers checked his knee and ankle.

He eventually limped off the field and was taken to a hospital for the MRI that revealed a fracture. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

"It sucks but it's the nature of our game," Barnes said Wednesday. "It's nobody's fault. It was something freakish that happened. I've been hit like that a few times but the ankle got caught and fractured the bone a little bit."

Barnes was signed to compete with Mario Henderson for the Raiders' left tackle job in what is considered to be Oakland's most crucial camp battle. Henderson started five games in 2008, including the final three when he did not give up a sack.

Raiders coach Tom Cable had hinted the loser of the battle might be moved to right tackle, but those plans have been put on hold while Barnes recovers.

"It sets us back a little bit," Cable said. "You just move forward in this business. He will be back, which we are fortunate that way, and he should be back rather early in terms of the regular season. So we will at least have the depth we were counting on there in the first place."

Barnes's left foot was placed in a cast that extends almost to his knee, forcing the 6-foot-5, 325-pounder to use crutches to get around. He is expected to stay in the cast for two weeks before being fitted for a walking boot.

"I was real frustrated yesterday when it initially happened but as time went on I figured I have to stay positive," Barnes said. "So now, since I can't do anything physical on the field, what I can do is stay in my playbook, make sure I'm fresh and even be better than I was progressing than right now. I'll bounce back."

Through the first week of camp, Barnes had been working primarily with Oakland's second-team offense while Henderson took the majority of reps with the starting unit.

The Raiders are searching for a replacement for Kwame Harris, who opened as the team's starting left tackle last season before getting benched in favor of Henderson late in the year.

With Barnes out, Oakland signed offensive lineman Seth Wand, who
played in one game for the Raiders a year ago. To make room for Wand, the team waived linebacker Chris O'Neill.