Rookie cornerback Damon Arnette was placed on Injured Reserve by the Las Vegas Raiders on Friday because of a broken right thumb after apparently undergoing surgery.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Arnette, who was selected by the Raiders with the 19th overall pick of this year’s NFL Draft out of Ohio State and became a starter immediately, sustained the injury in training camp and played with a cast until re-injuring his thumb last Sunday against the New England Patriots.
“Any time you lose a starter, it’s a gut punch,” Coach Jon Gruden said in announcing the move. “But you’ve got to take punches in this league if you're going to survive if you’re going to be a coach.”
Arnette is expected to miss at least the Raiders’ next three games against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, at the Kansas City Chiefs the following week and against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 25, a week after the Silver and Black have a bye.
However, Ian Rapaport of the NFL Channel and NFL.com reported that Arnette could miss six-to-eight weeks.
“Bad news for the #Raiders defense: 1st-round CB Damon Arnette is visiting a thumb specialist today after falling awkwardly on it Sunday, sources say,” Rapoport said on Twitter. “The thumb re-injury could sideline him for a month & a half & put him on Injured Reserve. He’ll find out soon if it’s worst-case.”
Arnette said in an Instagram post on Thursday that he underwent surgery on the thumb, which he re-injured against the Patriots when he bent his right hand back to prevent himself from falling and seemed to be in considerable pain as he left the game.
However, Arnette later returned and played a total of 52 defensive snaps, but it was the third straight game in which he missed playing time because of the injury.
In three games, Arnette has been credited with 13 tackles, 11 of them unassisted, and broken up one pass.
Veteran Nevin Lawson, who played 36 snaps against New England, is expected to start in Arnette’s spot opposite Trayvon Mullen, but slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner also could see playing time there, in addition to second-year man Isaiah Johnson.
The Raiders also have cornerbacks Keisan Nixon, who has played mostly on special teams the first three games, and a rookie fourth-round draft pick Amik Robertson, who has been inactive for each game this season.
How to watch or listen to the Las Vegas Raiders versus the Buffalo Bills Sunday?
TV: CBS 1 PM ET/10 AM PT
Radio: Raider Nation Radio
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