NAPA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders sustained a significant blow Wednesday with the news that starting left tackle Jared Veldheer will need surgery on his torn left triceps and will miss a significant portion of the upcoming season.
Veldheer has been bothered by the triceps throughout training camp and had a second MRI performed on Tuesday when it did not feel any better. After consulting with doctors and the team, Veldheer decided to have the surgery.
“It’s a disappointment for all of us,” coach Dennis Allen said. “But again we’re going to play 16 games this year. The teams that are able to push through those things mentally, those are the teams that have success. Everybody has injuries. That’s one we’ll just have to deal with.”
Allen said Veldheer would miss a significant amount of time but hoped he would be back at some point this season. Allen said Veldheer would be a candidate to be placed on injured reserve with a designation to return, which would require him to miss at least the first eight weeks.
The Raiders can place Veldheer on that list starting Sept. 3. He would be required to sit for six weeks and then could practice for two more before being eligible to be activated in time for the team’s eighth game on Nov. 3 against Philadelphia.
Teams can only use that designation on one player and Allen said he wouldn’t know for sure whether that would be an option for Veldheer until after the surgery.
The injury to Veldheer gives a shot at a starting role to Alex Barron, a former first-round pick by the St. Louis Rams who has not played a game in the NFL since 2010.
“Of course it’s an opportunity,” Barron said. “First and foremost it’s an opportunity to be here, period. It’s another opportunity obviously to go up on the chart and help the team as best I can. My whole thing is I’m going to continue to work and try to help the team as best I can.”
Barron was drafted 19th overall in 2005 out of Florida State but struggled for almost his entire five seasons in St. Louis. He started 74 games and played both left and right tackle but was plagued by penalties and poor blocking.
He committed 43 false start penalties — including 13 in 2006 — and 13 holding penalties while allowing 33 sacks, according to game tracking from STATS LLC.
He was traded to Dallas in 2010 and played 11 games with the Cowboys. But Barron hasn’t played since, spending a little time with New Orleans and Seattle without ever getting into a game.
“I think Alex has been playing very well,” quarterback Matt Flynn said. “I was with him in camp last year in Seattle. He seems like a different guy here. He’s playing well, playing aggressive and really coming into his own.”