The Las Vegas Raiders have already put their recent acquisition Takkarist McKinley onto the injured reserve.
McKinley, a former first-round pick, was claimed by the Raiders from the waiver wire.
This move came after the defensive end failed physicals with both the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.
As a result, he fell into the Raiders’ hands.
These are the last 6 tweets from Takk McKinley's Twitter account.
Wash, rinse, repeat… pic.twitter.com/kBwWuigB5R
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 23, 2020
However, it is clear that the organization is not yet comfortable with McKinley’s health.
Instead of waiving the 25-year-old end, the Raiders have elected to put him on the injured reserve.
As of now, McKinley is shaping up to be a part of the Raiders’ future.
“Takk McKinley will not be on the trip this week, but he is a big part of our plans for the future,” said Raiders coach Jon Gruden.
While his lingering groin injury is expected to keep him out for a minimum of three weeks, there is hope that he can contribute for the team moving forward.
Raiders Outlook for McKinley
After this season, McKinley will become a free agent.
With his injury, McKinley’s value will likely be low, especially if he doesn’t play this year.
There is hope, however, that he will reach the potential he has shown earlier in his career.
When at the University of California, McKinley proved himself as one of the better defensive linemen in that year’s draft.
This was good enough to become the 26th overall selection in the 2017 draft.
In his rookie season, McKinley was fourth in the league among rookies for sacks.
Since then, injuries have harmed the lineman’s ability to stay consistent in the league.
The Raiders clearly see the potential for him to overcome his injury issues and become a serviceable lineman in the league.
If they are able to get him healthy, he is a low-risk and high-reward pickup for the Raiders.
Other Options for the Raiders
Ever since they lost Khalil Mack in a trade with the Chicago Bears in 2018, the Raiders have had a hole in their defensive line.
Going into this season, the Raiders line was rated as 28th in the NFL.
So far this year, the Raiders are 23rd in the league in yards allowed per game.
One reason for this comes from their defensive line.
In order to address their pass rush, the Raiders also signed Vic Beasley.
Raiders signed former Falcons and Titans OLB Vic Beasley to their practice squad.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
Beasley was the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, leading the NFL in sacks in 2016.
While Beasley has never reached that same level of success, he has proven himself as a threat on the defensive line.
However, this season was weird for Beasley, as a series of conflicts with the Tennessee Titans led to his release from the team.
“I just think that not every decision that we make works out,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. “At the end of the day, we thought it was best for us to go in a different direction.”
As a result, he didn’t start a single game he played in for the Titans.
If he is able to focus on football and cut down on the drama, this may be a great signing for the Raiders.
A return to form for Beasley would give the team a newfound threat on their defensive line.
Between the signings of McKinley and Beasley, the franchise clearly hopes to have found fits for their defensive line moving forward.