Donald Penn was the first cornerstone piece to the Raiders elite offensive line. Now, the Raiders already have his future replacement in first Kolton Miller.
Since his arrival to the silver and black, Donald Penn has meant a great deal to the team. In both experience and solidifying the blind side, Penn is easily in the top 10 of best acquisitions the Raiders have made in recent memory. His contributions to the team is what helped lead them back to a respectable franchise. His stellar play in 2016 along with the rest of the offensive line put the Raiders pass protection on the map. Penn only allowed one sack that season which is incredible.
Unfortunately, we all know how impactful that one sack allowed was. It cost Derek Carr his first ever playoff start and the Raiders chances of winning. Ever since he allowed that sack Donald Penn hasn’t had things go his way. He’s been injured twice, he held out of camp, has been in the news multiple times in a negative light and the Raiders drafted his replacement with their first pick.
2017 Season Review
Penn was good, not great. He performed above average, but wasn’t close to the dominance in 2016. His numbers may not show it, but Penn got beat a lot more in 2017 than in 2016. Was it his injury that slowed him up from the prior season? Or his lack of reps in practice because he held out? Whatever it was Penn didn’t have a comfortable season.
That became obvious when he decided to engage with a fan after a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Penn ended 2017 the same way he did in 2016. Injured. Only this time it’s a Lisfranc Injury which makes his return very intriguing.
2018 Season Outlook
How Penn responds after recovering from a lisfranc injury will be very telling. It’ll let us all know how much juice the Raiders can still squeeze out of him before handing the reigns over to first round pick Kolton Miller. This injury is what derailed Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. 2018 should be highly motivated and inspired season for Penn.
Coming back from a Lisfranc Injury is tough and the Raiders drafted his replacement. There is a lot of adversity on Penn’s plate right now. Will he be able to carry the weight of it?
Training Camp Projection
Well he won’t be holding out this time, so I’ll actually be able to give a projection. Donald Penn is currently on track to fully recover from his injury. He should be good to go for training camp in a few weeks. He’s going to need those reps to test out his foot and shake a bit of rust. That’s all that matters right now. To make sure he can fall back into form and get up to speed with the offense. There won’t be a competition at left tackle. Miller will strictly be there to back him up and be a sponge by taking mental reps.