Four Las Vegas Raiders Defensive Starters Out

The Las Vegas Raiders will be without defensive starters Johnathan Abram, Damon Arnette, Clelin Ferrell and Nicholas Morrow versus the Los Angeles Chargers
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The Los Angeles Raiders' path to the playoffs has hit another obstacle.

In the wake of the divisional matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Raiders have announced four defensive starters will miss Thursday night's game.

The Silver and Black will be without defensive end Clelin Ferrell, linebacker Nicholas Morrow, safety Johnathan Abram and cornerback Damon Arnette, most of them due to concussions.

"We've just got to have guys step up," said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. "Carl Nassib will come back in the lineup. I'm sure he'll play good. We're anxious to see Dallin Leavitt play. Daryl Worley's back, he's been a quick study.

"So, it's the next-man-up mentality. I know you've heard it a lot from me and a lot of coaches in this league, but that's the truth."

Ferrell, who was sidelined last week because of a shoulder injury, will be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Morrow and Abram suffered concussions late in the game against the Indianapolis Colts last week. Now both players will sit out as they have not cleared concussion protocols.

After being pulled off the field twice on separate occasions, rookie corner Arnette will miss another game as he continues to deal with a neck injury and a concussion he sustained in Week 13 against the New York Jets.

It's another challenge for newly appointed interim defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who will have difficulty stopping the Chargers attack without four of his starters on defense.

"Everybody responds well to Rod," Gruden said of Marinelli, who was elevated from defensive line coach. "They have before. It's not like he's a new guy coming in here. He gets the correct response, a lot of respect. I think people trust him. He'll do a good job. It will be a tall order for him, obviously, in our defense, but I know we're looking forward to the challenge. We've got a lot of respect for the Chargers."

The Raiders have prevailed when challenged before, and under Marinelli, these challenges give the Raiders a little more motivation heading into Thursday's game.

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