In 2016, the Oakland Raiders made a big reach when they selected DL Jihad Ward in the second round. Many said the same thing about Mario Edwards Jr. in 2015 but he turned out to be a beast. Unfortunately for Ward, he didn’t turn out that way as a rookie, needing to develop his technique more.
So he went into this offseason hoping to develop and make a good showing for himself in 2017. But he didn’t complete this year’s OTAs or participate in the team’s minicamp because of an injury. And now, we have to wonder if Ward will miss a portion of training camp after having a procedure done on his leg.
Ward posted a picture of himself on Snapchat in a hospital gown with a support scooter and cast and on his lower left leg and foot. According to a NBC, the picture was taken sometime last month. No one outside the Raiders organization has been able to find out what specifically his injury or timeline is.
But it’s going to be hard for him to a big contributor on the Raiders interior defensive line now. Eddie Vanderdoes, an absolute steal in the 2017 NFL Draft, will be his competition for playing time. I already have Vanderdoes beating Ward out this summer and whatever this injury is makes it more likely.
It’s going to be hard for Ward to be in great shape for camp coming off a surgery. So it puts him behind the 8-ball with Vanderdoes, who just signed his rookie contract.
Just win, baby!