Raiders rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow hadn’t played in a game since Nov. 24. During that time, Oakland lost three straight games – to the Chiefs, Titans and Jaguars – to fall from 6-5 to 6-8. The Raiders’ playoff hopes also seemed hopeless.
But in Renfrow’s return Sunday against the Chargers at Carson, the former Clemson standout showed what he means to the Oakland offense.
Renfrow had the biggest day of his young pro career, catching seven of the nine passes thrown his way, for 107 yards and a touchdown, a 56-yard play that opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter. Five of his catches came on third down to keep drives alive.
He also added 33 yards on three punt returns.
So yes, the Raiders missed him when he was gone (he suffered a rib injury against the Jets) and are glad to have him back.
At 7-8, the Raiders still have a slim shot at the playoffs if they win Sunday in Denver against the Broncos and several other teams lose. It’s a long shot, but at least the Raiders’ playoff hopes are breathing after 15 games.
Fellow rookie, defensive end Maxx Crosby, says Renfrow is a difference-maker.
“Renfrow’s a beast,” Crosby told Levi Damien of USA Today’s Raiders Wire. “He’s a game-changer. When he’s in there he makes things happen. Seeing him do what he does is awesome.”
Over 12 games, Renfrow has 43 catches for 503 yards, an 11.7 yards-per-catch average and three touchdowns. Those 43 catches have produced 27 first downs.
His 100-yard receiving game against the Chargers was his first ever, either in college or the NFL. His previous high with the Raiders was an 88-yard game on four catches vs. the Texans in late October.
Renfrow will be back in the lineup again Sunday in Denver, with a postseason berth on the line. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m.