Tyvon Branch injury: Raiders safety hurts ankle, return questionable

Kevin C. Cox

Raiders safety Tyvon Branch left Thursday's game with an ankle injury. His return is questionable.

Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch left Thursday night's game during the first quarter with an ankle injury.

Branch suffered the injury near the end of the quarter and was then taken to the locker room for further review. The Raiders are calling his return questionable. Losing Branch, who is arguably the Raiders' best defensive player, would be a major blow for Oakland.

The Raiders have already struggled to slow Peyton Manning and currently trail 13-0. Manning has already thrown for 142 yards and completed 11 of 15 passes. The loss of Branch can only hurt the Raiders' hopes of slowing Manning. With this injury, the Raiders are now playing without two starters in their secondary as Michael Huff was benched after struggling early.

Without Branch, Mike Mitchell is expected to fill in at safety for Oakland. Branch entered the game as Oakland's second leading tackler with 82. He also has three pass deflections and one interception.

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