Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Nagging injuries hit Raiders
By Bill Williamson
NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders haven’t suffered any colossal training-camp injuries, but nagging bumps and bruises are starting to pile up.
The rookie class was affected Tuesday. Running back Latavius Murray, a sixth-round pick, didn’t practice; defensive lineman Stacy McGee and receiver Conner Vernon were injured during the session. Oakland coach Dennis Allen hasn’t been disclosing injuries, but he indicated that none of those suffered by the rookies seem to be overly serious.
Still, Allen did express worry that so many Raiders are injured. Fourteen are currently not practicing -- making Wednesday's day off from drills particularly welcome.
Oakland receiver/returner Jacoby Ford, hurt over the weekend, is among those sidelined; Allen said he doesn’t expect Ford to be out long. He has played sparingly in the past year-and-a-half. Offensive lineman Menelik Watson and defensive tackle Pat Sims are still out. Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden has still not been cleared for contact, though Allen has indicated that he could be shortly.
Receiver Andre Holmes has been a standout in recent days, showcasing his size and skills. Holmes, entering his second season, is facing a four-game NFL suspension for use of a banned substance. He is a long shot to make the team, but if he continues to shine, he could force some tough decisions.
In other AFC West notes:
Kansas City guard Jeff Allen returned to practice Tuesday after missing two days with a shoulder injury. Defensive backs Eric Berry and Dunta Robinson are getting close to coming back from hamstring injuries.
Linebacker Joe Mays said he chose Houston over Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego. Denver cut him last week. All three of the other AFC West teams have varying needs at linebacker.
Quote of the day: Kansas City coach Andy Reid on the effort of 350-pound defensive tackle Dontari Poe: “You’ve got D-Poe, just a big fella, and he’s chasing the ball down the field 50 yards. That’s impressive stuff.”
I expect Poe, the No. 11 overall draft choice in 2012, to make big strides this season. The new regime loves him.