Friday, August 26, 2011
Raiders bring in veteran CB Lito Sheppard
By Bill Williamson
While the Raiders plan to unveil rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor in Friday’s practice, they addressed their shaky cornerback situation in the form of former Pro Bowl player Lito Sheppard.
Sheppard was a star for the Eagles, but he has bounced around in recent years. He will have a chance to be in Oakland’s rotation and conceivably vie to start the season opener at Denver in 17 days.
Veteran Chris Johnson is out for an undisclosed amount of time with an injury, but the Raiders have said he should be back in time for the opener. Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke has missed the past couple of practices.
Oakland’s cornerback play has been suspect in the preseason so far as the team adjusts to life without star Nnamdi Asomugha, who signed with the Eagles.
Sheppard, 30, was with the Vikings last year and started two games for Minnesota. He has started 14 games the past three seasons. Don’t expect Sheppard to be a savior, but he is a veteran and that is worth adding to the mix in Oakland.
Yet, Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. doesn’t think the Raiders should expect much.
“Highly doubt it,” Williamson responded when asked if he think Sheppard can make an impact in Oakland. “He has really struggled the past few seasons.”