The Oakland Raiders have lost the services of one of their top players as left tackle Jared Veldheer will be out indefinitely with a torn left triceps, Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area reports.
Veldheer had been wearing a brace in his attempt to play through the injury while he underwent more tests. A second MRI on Tuesday revealed the tear, which will result in Veldheer being placed on the "Injured Reserve - Designated to Return" list, head coach Dennis Allen said on Wednesday.
By being placed on that list, the earliest Veldheer could return to action is after Week 8, though Allen suggested that the fourth-year left tackle could miss the entire season.
Veldheer, a 2010 third-round pick out of Hillsdale, has been a dependable player for the Raiders over the last three seasons, appearing in all 48 games and making 43 starts, including one at center in his NFL debut. Veldheer has started 42 straight games at left tackle for the Raiders, missing only one offensive snap (in a Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints last season) during that stretch.
Replacing Veldheer will be a difficult task for the Raiders. Ideally, 2013 second-round pick Menelik Watson would step up into a starting role, either on the right or left side, opposite veteran Khalif Barnes. Watson has been battling a calf injury, which means Alex Barron was getting reps at left tackle for the Raiders during practice on Wednesday. Barron, a 2005 first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams, has not appeared in an NFL regular season game since 2010.
Losing a season to an injury would be disastrous for Veldheer, as well. Veldheer is entering the final season of his four-year, $3.532 million rookie contract and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014.