Jared Veldheer is headed for surgery to repair a torn triceps, the Oakland Raiders announced Wednesday via Twitter. Projected to open the season as the Raiders' starting left tackle, Veldheer will now begin the year on injured reserve.
Veldheer has been designated for return, meaning he can begin practicing with the Raiders after Week 6, and theoretically play in Week 8 provided he is able to fully recover. Still, losing Veldheer for at least half of the 2013 regular season should be considered a major blow. He graded out as the 12th-best left tackle in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Luckily for the Raiders, they should be able to move ahead without too much restructuring of the offensive line. Backup Alex Barron has reportedly been performing well in training camp and was a starter with the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys in his first six NFL seasons. Barron has yet to play a regular-season snap since 2010, however. He spent the 2011 season on injured reserve with the New Orleans Saints and was released by the Seattle Seahawks before the 2012 season began.
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis also landed on injured reserve last season with a torn triceps. He eventually was able to return under the same clause as Veldheer, but was foeced to sit out nearly three months before eventually returning for the playoffs.