When the Raiders take on the New York Giants Sunday, quarterback Derek Carr will have to find some new targets downfield.
The Raiders will be missing starting wide receivers Michael Crabtree, suspended for a game for fighting against the Broncos, and Amari Cooper, out with an ankle injury and concussion.
Johnny Holton and Cordarrelle Patterson are expected to fill their roles, with Seth Roberts working out of the slot.
“It has to be next man up,” Carr told reporters this week. “At the same time, I do need to spend extra time with them because the guys that get all the reps usually with me are Coop and Crab. Seth gets a lot of reps with me, C.P. on certain things, Johnny on certain things. But now we have to make sure we get them all of those reps that sometimes they wouldn’t get with me.”
The Raiders signed a free agent, Isaac Whitney, to fill this week’s void, and Keon Hatcher could be activated off the practice squad.
Crabtree, Cooper and tight end Jared Cook all are tied for the team lead in receptions with 42, though Cook leads in yards with 537. Crabtree and Cooper, however, have been the go-to targets for scores. Cook has just one TD catch, with Crabtree (6) and Cooper (5) leading the team.
Patterson has 21 catches and Holton just four, but for an amazing 40.3 yard average and two scores.
Without his two big-play targets, Carr joked with Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Raiders were going to change up their entire offensive approach against New York.
“I think we’re going to go Wing-T,” Carr said, of a run-oriented offense. “We’re going to run the triple option.”
Running back Jalen Richard, however, told Gehlken the offensive approach will stay the same, just with different players.
“We’re going to take what they give us,” said Richard. “If they give us a deep ball, we’re going to take the deep ball. If they want to give us the run all day, yeah, we’ll run it all day. That’s our mindset going in.”
Sunday’s game between the 5-6 Raiders and 2-9 Giants is set for 1:25 p.m. at the Oakland Coliseum.