MercuryNews Left tackle Jared Veldheer will undergo surgery for a torn left triceps and will miss a significant portion of the season, Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday. Veldheer underwent a second MRI in 10 days Tuesday, and after talking with doctors and the coaching staff, elected to have surgery. Allen said Veldheer will likely be placed on injured reserve but designated for return, meaning he would miss a minimum of six weeks. A fourth-year player out of Hillsdale, Veldheer, in the final year of his contract, is considered an ascending player and the closest thing the Raiders have to a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman.
This is an absolutely huge injury for the Oakland Raiders, Jared Veldheer is one of the best players in the NFL that nobody knows about, and this injury is catastrophic for the Oakland Raiders offensive line and their plans on protecting quarterback Matt Flynn this season. Jared Veldheer was probably the best player on the Raiders offense last season, he was the closest thing they had to a star on that side of the ball, and he has the potential to develop into a future All-Pro. Veldheer will be replaced by Alex Baron on the left side, a former first round draft bust of the St. Louis Rams, who has hung around the league as a backup. It’s a major downgrade and quarterback Matt Flynn will see a lot more pressure without a talent like Veldheer protecting his blindside. Based on this article, it seems the Raiders are holding out hope that Veldheer will return from his injury at some point, but sources say it will not be anytime soon and he is likely to miss the entire 2013 season. Things have gone from bad to worse in Oakland as this injury caused one of their few positions of strength to become a major weakness.