Raiders should probably shut Neiron Ball down for the rest of 2015

The Raiders could be without one promising linebacker for their final four contests.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Raiders were banking on Neiron Ball's return to mount a second-half playoff run.

Those playoff chances are over — and Ball's season could soon follow. The fifth-round rookie linebacker suffered a knee injury that could take some time to heal, according to Silver & Black Pride.

“I think it will be tough for him to make it back,” Del Rio told reporters. “We keep trying. We'll see where it goes, but we've got a month left, we were hopeful we'd have him back by now and it doesn't look like that's gonna be the case.”

It sounds like Ball's future landing spot is on injured reserve. And that's not necessarily a bad thing; the team values his development, but not at the risk of his long-term availability.

Ball and fellow rookie Ben Heeney should return next season to give the Raiders some linebacking pop. He currently has nine tackles and a sack.

(h/t Silver & Black Pride)

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