Donald Penn to undergo season-ending surgery on his right foot

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Monday, December 18, 2017

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn, who suffered an injury to his right foot early in the Raiders' 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio confirmed Monday.

Penn will have the surgery on Wednesday, Del Rio said.

Penn has not missed a regular-season game since 2007 and has made 170 consecutive starts. He has played in all 174 regular-season games in his NFL career.

When Penn exited the game after just six snaps, Marshall Newhouse moved from right tackle to left tackle and Vadal Alexander came in at right tackle.

Alexander played 66 snaps and, per Pro Football Focus, allowed three quarterback hits and two hurries in 39 pass-block snaps and ranked 54th of 60 offensive tackles in PFF pass-blocking efficiency this week. He called Penn one of the Raiders' "OGs" on the offensive line, a leader.

"All seven O-linemen who suit up are experienced," Alexander said after the game. "I thought it went really smooth.

"The O-line is all about camaraderie. It's about getting reps and getting rhythm. As the game gets going, you get more comfortable with the guy next to you. You get more comfortable with the defense you're playing against. It helps a lot."

Earlier this season, when Penn, 34, was banged up and had to leave the game for a series, rookie David Sharpe replaced Penn at left tackle. Sharpe was inactive against the Cowboys.

It had been a frustrating season for Penn, who held out of training camp for a contract raise and reported to the Raiders without a new deal after 26 days on Aug. 23. He eventually got a new deal, to the tune of a two-year, $21 million extension, but he also had a confrontation with a fan in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot after the Raiders lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 and was still rounding into shape at the season's midway point.

Penn suffered a knee injury in last season's finale and missed Oakland's playoff game at the Houston Texans. At 6-8 this season, the Raiders are all but eliminated from the playoff race.

"It's a sour subject, man," Penn said during OTAs of missing the postseason. "I really don't even want to talk about it much. It was tough. It was very emotional. If I was accustomed to missing games before, it might not have been that tough but I've never missed a game before, high school, college, anything. That was really tough. I tried to do everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen again so I can be able to help out my team."