Oakland Raiders: Donald Penn ruled out for Wild Card game versus Houston Texans – Sports Out West
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Oakland Raiders: Donald Penn ruled out for Wild Card game versus Houston Texans

Oakland Raiders Donald Penn
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders will play Saturday’s AFC Wild Card versus the Houston Texans without their starting left tackle Donald Penn.

Penn is ruled out of Saturday’s game due to a knee injury that he suffered in the Week 17 loss to the Denver Broncos, according to NFL.com.

Penn, 33, has not missed a start since he took over the left tackle job with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers in 2007. Penn has played in 160 consecutive games, per NFL.com.

The Pro Bowl left tackle ranked as the No. 11 best tackle, according to Pro Football Focus. Oakland had the best pass protection in the NFL with Penn, according to Football Outsiders.

Penn’s absence could not come at a worse time. The Raiders are already without starting quarterback Derek Carr due to a broken fibula. Therefore, rookie quarterback Connor Cook will make his first start via the playoff game.

Cook could have used Penn as he takes on a Houston defense that ranks No. 1 in yards per game. The Texans also feature Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has six sacks this season.

Now, right tackle Menelik Watson is expected to swing to the left side in Penn’s absence. Watson has made 17 career starts in his three seasons, including five at right tackle this year.

Veteran Austin Howard will start at right tackle, according to CSN Bay Area. Howard has started 72 career games, including 10 at right tackle in 2016.

The Raiders play the Texans at 1:35 p.m. PST. It will be Oakland’s first playoff game since 2002. Raiders vs. Texans tickets start at $85 with an average price of $332.  This is one of the pricier games at NRG Stadium this year, although it’s the cheapest of the four games this weekend for NFL playoffs tickets.

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Pete D. Camarillo only loves sports and writing. He tried combining those passions with his degree in Journalism at CSUN. He's had work published on Fansided, Endzone Score, Inquisitr, Elite Daily and several print publications. Pete also did community relations with the L.A. Clippers during the 2014-15 season. Follow him on Twitter @petecertified.
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