AFC West: Denarius Moore

NAPA, Calif. – Perhaps the biggest surprise on the Oakland Raiders initial depth chart on Monday was where receiver Denarius Moore was listed.

Third. Behind Andre Holmes and James Jones. Rod Streater, Greg Little and Juron Criner are the top three at the other receiver position.

On the surface, that’s bubble territory. As in, you’re on the bubble to make the 53-man roster. Yet while coach Dennis Allen insisted he takes “not much” stock in his own depth chart this early in training camp -- hey, the Raiders had to put out something four days before the exhibition opener at the Minnesota Vikings -- Moore’s poor body language during practice spoke volumes.

Of course, we could be reading into things, but this much is true: The Raiders are still waiting for Moore, who has been alternately explosive and frustrating in his first three NFL seasons, to be more consistent.

“One of the big topics has kind of been a little bit of the inconsistency in the past, but I think he’s been a lot better in this camp,” Allen said of Moore. “I’m excited about Denarius Moore. I’m really excited about the whole receiving corps really, because I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that have an opportunity to surprise some people.

“But, I do think Denarius is getting better as a football player and he has in this camp.”

And there lies the rub. Moore has been consistently inconsistent. One week, the former fifth-round draft pick out of Tennessee is an explosive, acrobatic playmaking pass catcher. Then he’ll disappear for weeks.

In three years, he has caught 130 passes for 2,054 yards and 17 touchdowns, but his per-season yards-catch averages have gone from 18.7 yards to 14.5 to 15.1.

Moore also has missed seven games due to injury in his career, and his mind has played tricks on him along the way.

“I was worrying whether I was going to be able to be that go-to guy, or what I was supposed to [do] on this down or that down,” Moore told the Bay Area News group. “If I dropped the last pass, I’d think, ‘Are they going to come back to me? Do they have faith in me?’

“I should have just let it go and go on to the next play.”

Since his rookie season, Moore has caught regular season passes from seven different quarterbacks -- Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin. Matt Schaub will make eight this season.

What’s that about maddening inconsistency, again?

“For a smaller guy, compared to our other receivers, he can still go up and make the high-point of the football and adjust to it in the air,” Schaub said of Moore. “I think he’s a guy that can take those short catches and turn them into big ones with his athleticism.”

The question then is can he do it consistently?
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- This was touched on in the wake of the Oakland Raiders' open-to-the-media OTA practice on Monday, but it bears circling back to as the team concluded the last of 10 voluntary practices over three sessions on Thursday -- receiver Denarius Moore is still confounding the team.

Sure, one series he looks like a world-class playmaker who will give opposing defensive coordinators sleepless nights. The next series, Moore disappears.

And though he has been working with what appears to be a first-team offense -- coach Dennis Allen insists there is no depth chart in OTAs -- Moore needs to show, well, more to the Raiders if he's ready to take that next step.

“I think we're still working through that,” Allen said Monday. “He's not unlike a lot of guys we have on the football team. He's still got a lot of improvement that he's got to make. I've seen some strides and hopefully he'll continue to make those strides.

“I think, like I was talking about earlier with all these guys, attention to detail is where we've got to work to continue to improve … because the margin for error in the NFL is very minute, very small. So the ability to be precise in everything you do is critical to having success.”

Moore -- who famously said as a rookie in 2011 that he was not a playmaker, he just makes plays -- caught 33 passes and five touchdowns in averaging 18.7 yards per catch his first year, and averaged 15.1 yards per catch last season.

Still, he has 17 touchdown catches in three seasons, more than any other receiver on the Raiders roster except for James Jones. And with Moore's skill set setting him apart from the rest of Oakland's receiving corps, he would seemingly fill the role of, yes, a playmaker.

So long as he stays healthy -- he's missed seven games in three years -- and focused.

Monday, Moore had a cryptic tweet that had many fans guessing at the meaning, and if it pertained to his tenure in Oakland.

If Moore is not the consistent, prototypical, game-changing receiver the Raiders desire, could they manage without such a playmaker on offense?

“You need a bunch of good football players and you need your good football players to step up and make plays when you need them to,” Allen said. “There's a lot of different ways that you can accomplish that goal. I feel like we have some weapons on the offensive side of the ball and our job as coaches is to put them in position to let them have success and that's what we plan on doing.”
If Sammy Watkins is a target of the Oakland Raiders, who hold the No. 5 pick in May's NFL draft, that might be news to the former Clemson receiver.

Watkins, the top wideout in the draft who could go as high as No. 2 overall, told ESPN affiliate 95.7 The Game on Tuesday that he did not recall meeting with the Raiders at last month's combine in Indianapolis.

That's not to say, though, that Watkins is feeling shunned. As he put it, he has love for all 32 teams.

“I have some freakish talents and ability to make plays,” he said. “I can jump, run catch, make somebody miss. That's my game.”

It's a game and playmaking skill set badly needed by the rebuilding Raiders, who added veteran possession pass-catcher James Jones in free agency and return Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler and Juron Criner.

Watkins, though, plays bigger and faster than his listed 6-foot-1, 211 pounds, and many see him as Denarius Moore 2.0.

“I'm able to transition myself and work through tough conditions,” Watkins said. “I understand football and the preparation, so for me, it's getting in with the team I'm with and learn that playbook. That's all I need to do is really learn that playbook, and after that, just adjusting to the speed of the game and how cornerbacks play in the NFL.

“That would be the next step. I think after the first few games I'll be definitely fine.”

Watkins said he patterned his game after many different NFL receivers, listing Julio Jones, Torrey Smith, DeAndre Hopkins, Alshon Jeffery and Larry Fitzgerald. He was also asked where his skill set would best be put to use on an NFL field.

“If you want to make a lot of plays and help your team, I think ‘Z' would definitely be the position, because if they flip the coverage to your side, you definitely got one-on-one back side,” he said of what is commonly known as the flanker. “I think for me to spread the field and getting down the field and have space, the ‘Z' would be a nice position for me.”

And his favorite route to run?

“I would probably say a dig, probably a speed dig or a regular dig,” Watkins said. “You can't really stop those.”
The Oakland Raiders have needs all over the roster, and with the No. 5 overall pick in May’s NFL draft, it would seem likely they can address at least one of them with their first selection.

Of course, general manager Reggie McKenzie more than intimated he wants a playmaker. And more than a few prospects have already acquitted themselves quite well at the combine, thank you very much.

A brief look, then, at five who have impressed thus far in Indianapolis, but will they still be there at No. 5 come the draft?

WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson)

Sure, he seems to be Denarius Moore 2.0, but if he’s more consistent, that would be an upgrade, no? The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Watkins put on a show Sunday, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and showing body control and quick-twitch shiftiness in a 6.95-second three-cone drill and a 4.34-second 20-yard shuttle run. He also had a 34-inch vertical leap and a 126-inch broad jump. Perhaps more importantly, though, Watkins displayed his soft-yet-strong hands in catching passes.

QB Blake Bortles (Central Florida)

A seeming clone of Ben Roethlisberger, the statuesque Bortles (6-5, 232) surprised with athleticism. He ran a 4.93 40, while leaping 32.5 inches in the vertical jump and 115 inches in the broad jump, better than Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel, both of whom had 113-inch broad jumps. Where Bortles may have given himself an edge was in the fact that he actually threw to receivers, unlike Bridgewater and Manziel. Bortles showed an above-average arm as well as some touch on deep balls.

WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M)

Many are starting to wonder if the big (6-5, 231) pass-catcher is more what the Raiders need. He’s not a burner (4.53 40) but he had a 37-inch vertical leap and timed a 4.26-second 20-yard shuttle run, faster than Watkins. Not necessarily playmaker numbers, but he is a football player, as McKenzie is fond of saying, and many see Evans as having the skill set to become a No. 1 receiver, rather than just a possession receiver.

OT Greg Robinson (Auburn)

The Raiders will have an issue on the offensive line if they are unable to re-sign left tackle Jared Veldheer. Robinson could be an option in that scenario. He blew minds on Saturday. The 6-5, 332-pounder ran a 4.92-second 40-yard dash and he also had a 113-inch broad jump with 32 reps in the bench press. His showing in positional drills has many wondering if he could turn into the draft’s top overall prospect.

OT Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)

The 6-5, 308-pounder turned in the second-most impressive workout of an offensive tackle and, as noted earlier, if Veldheer is gone, the Raiders could do worse than to take a look at Matthews. He ran a 5.07-second 40 and added a 30.5-inch vertical leap and a 7.34-second three-cone drill. His blocking technique was considered flawless, which showcased his agility.

Keep an eye on: South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr work out on Monday.

Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Raiders

January, 15, 2014
ALAMEDA, Calif. -– The Oakland Raiders have myriad needs as they enter Year 3 of the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen regime, Year 1 of the franchise’s “reconstruction,” per owner Mark Davis.

The Raiders also have the No. 5 overall pick in May’s draft and, the way ESPN’s Mel Kiper sees it in his NFL mock draft 1.0 Insider, Oakland will go with Clemson playmaking receiver Sammy Watkins.

Sure, the Raiders have a couple of emerging pass-catching talents in the undrafted duo of Rod Streater and Andre Holmes and a pseudo-playmaker in Denarius Moore (when he doesn’t disappear). But Watkins seemingly has immediate star written all over him.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is coming off setting an Orange Bowl record with 16 catches for 227 yards with two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 40-35 victory over Ohio State.

On the season, he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns, with two of more than 90 yards, and in three years at Death Valley he had a combined 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 TDs.

Watkins is not the largest of targets and has a 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds. He also reminds some of Percy Harvin.

Should the Raiders go the Watkins route, the question then is this: Who’s going to throw him the ball? I told you the Raiders have a lot of needs.

But Watkins would definitely fill one.

Injury report: Watson misses practice

December, 26, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Two days after the Oakland Raiders had their first perfect attendance by the 53-man roster at a practice, rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson missed Thursday with a recurrence of his calf issue that first flared up in training camp.

Watson, the Raiders' second-round draft pick who also underwent a knee procedure just before the season began and did not make his NFL debut until Week 9, has appeared in five games this season, starting three. He was active for the Raiders' game at the San Diego Chargers last weekend but did not play in Oakland's 26-13 loss.

“It's the same thing that's been troubling him,” coach Dennis Allen said of Watson's calf.

Following, then, the Raiders' injury report for Thursday:

Did not participate: OT Menelik Watson (calf)

Limited practice: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring)

Full practice: RG Mike Brisiel (knee), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (knee/ankle)
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Because the Oakland Raiders are taking Wednesday off for the Christmas Day holiday, they practiced Tuesday instead.

But with it not being the “official” start of the NFL week, the Raiders did not have to submit an official injury report on Tuesday. Still, coach Dennis Allen did give an update.

“For the first time in a while, we had everybody out there (practicing),” Allen said.

Asked if he’s had all 53 players on the roster on the practice field at the same time this season, Allen said, “I don’t think so. I’d have to go back and check the records, but it’s been awhile, for sure.”

It was the first time running back/special teams standout Jeremy Stewart practiced since getting injured on the road against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

Following, then, the Raiders' “unofficial” official injury report for Tuesday:

Did not participate: None

Limited practice: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring), RB Jeremy Stewart (knee/ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (knee).

Full practice: WR Denarius Moore (shoulder).
Jamaal Charles and Rod StreaterGetty ImagesJamaal Charles, left, and the Chiefs hope to avoid an upset against Rod Streater and the Raiders.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The last time the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs met, Terrelle Pryor was under center for the Raiders and his legs did the running quarterback little good as he was sacked nine times in a 24-7 Chiefs victory at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 13, a game in which Oakland held a 7-0 lead in the second quarter and trailed by only a 14-7 count late in the fourth quarter. Matt McGloin, who is more of a pocket passer, is now the Raiders quarterback, and he has received a baptism by fire in going 1-3 for Oakland (4-9).

The Chiefs (10-3), meanwhile, ended a three-game losing streak last week by thumping Washington 45-10 and have their eyes set on a playoff berth, which they can clinch by beating the Raiders and/or getting some help elsewhere.

Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher and Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez break down the upcoming matchup at the Coliseum.

Gutierrez: Hey Adam, the Raiders are looking desperately at every angle to win a football game and end a three-game losing streak. Though they hung with the Chiefs in Kansas City for more than a half earlier this season, many are wondering if the Chiefs could sit a few starters this weekend, especially since that playoff spot will have been clinched before kickoff in Oakland if the Miami Dolphins lose earlier in the day against the New England Patriots. Do you envision that possibly happening, or is Game 14 too soon for coach Andy Reid and Co. to start thinking that way?

Teicher: Reid hasn’t tipped his hand on this, but it’s difficult to picture him backing off this early, or at least until they no longer can win the AFC West championship. And no matter what happens, the Chiefs can’t be eliminated from winning the division title before Sunday’s kickoff. As it looks, the Chiefs will have plenty of time over the final two games to provide rest to some of their key players. If this is any clue, the Chiefs had a 38-10 lead late in the third quarter last week against Washington, but all of their key players, including running back Jamaal Charles and quarterback Alex Smith, were still in the lineup. So I would expect that on Sunday, the Chiefs will do what they feel they have to do to win this game.

McGloin will start against the Chiefs for the first time. Give us a little scouting report with the things he has and hasn’t done well, and what he might be capable of that could give an aggressive defense like Kansas City’s some trouble.

Gutierrez: McGloin is the anti-Pryor -- that is, he is the prototypical pocket passer who is most comfortable running a West Coast offense, even if he is a little on the short end at 6-foot in his cleats. His biggest backers compare the undrafted rookie to a poor man’s Drew Brees. Pretty heady stuff. Still, what the Raiders lose in athleticism in going from Pryor to McGloin they gain in pocket presence. McGloin learns from his mistakes quickly, and his coaches say he rarely, if ever, makes the same mistake twice. He has made a few, though: a jump ball in the end zone to the 5-9 Jacoby Ford that was picked off on Thanksgiving in Dallas, trying to force a pass deep in his own territory that was picked off by the New York Jets’ Ed Reed. Where he might be able to give the Chiefs’ aggressive defense fits is his ability to stay in the pocket until the last possible moment, take the hit and still get the ball off, as he did for a 27-yard go-ahead touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans.

Against Pryor, the Chiefs had nine sacks. But they had only two total in their previous five games before getting Washington’s quarterbacks six times this past weekend. Was it merely a matter of flipping the switch for the Chiefs' pass rush?

Teicher: It was a combination of things, really. The main thing is that they got a big lead early and were able to get after Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins without having to truly honor Washington’s running game. They were able to make the Redskins one-dimensional that way. Another factor is that the Redskins are a mess. I think a lot of teams are capable of making their pass protection look bad. Also, I think the Chiefs were due. While their pass rush isn’t as good as it looked in the last game against the Raiders or in many of the other early season games, it is too good to go long stretches without getting a sack. Opposing quarterbacks had changed their game to get rid of the ball quickly against the Chiefs. Washington’s quarterbacks didn’t use that strategy much.

The Chiefs allow some big pass plays every week because of the aggressive style they play. Denarius Moore was Oakland's deep threat the last time these teams met. Is he healthy enough to play this week and, whether he is or not, do the Raiders have any other big-play receivers who can give the Chiefs something to worry about?

Gutierrez: Moore has not played since Nov. 17, but he did practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring a shoulder in Houston. And, perhaps coincidentally, that was the last time the Raiders won a game. When healthy, he is definitely their most electric playmaker, but Oakland might have found something in a couple of undrafted guys -- Andre Holmes, who lit up the Dallas Cowboys for seven catches and 136 yards on Thanksgiving, and Rod Streater, who is 213 yards away from becoming the first Raiders receiver to turn in a 1,000-yard season since Randy Moss in 2005. They are both much larger targets than Moore, but not as fast or explosive.

Despite finishing with the league’s worst record last season at 2-14, the Chiefs still had six Pro Bowlers, so the talent was obviously there. And with the 9-0 start this season, it seems obvious the biggest change was in coaching. But at the risk of offending Smith, is it really that simplistic?

Teicher: With the exception of general manager, coaching staff and quarterback, the Chiefs aren’t much different in key spots than they were last season, when they finished 2-14. So most of the credit for their turnaround has to go to GM John Dorsey, Reid and Smith. Dorsey's best offseason moves came through free agency, when the Chiefs added productive role players like tight end Anthony Fasano, defensive end Mike DeVito and cornerback Sean Smith. Reid has done a nice job with the X's and O's, but perhaps his best move was to turn around a rotten, losing culture and get everyone within the organization to fall in behind him. Alex Smith has picked up his game of late. He’s going down the field more with the ball, and the passing game has perked up. He has been solid enough not to ruin a good thing for the Chiefs. Smith has committed just six turnovers this season. Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn combined to turn it over 27 times last season.

The Chiefs had one of their worst offensive games of the season against Oakland the last time. Since then, the Raiders have been allowing a lot of yards and a lot of points. Is there an easy explanation for what has happened to their defense?

Gutierrez: An easy explanation? Sure, the defense is simply worn down ... and a lack of depth behind the starting 11 has made the drop off all the more stunning. Especially in the past three games. Against the Tennessee Titans, the Raiders' defense allowed an 80-yard drive in six minutes that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal with 10 seconds remaining to give the Titans a 23-19 victory. On Thanksgiving Day, the Raiders blew a 21-7 first-half lead in Dallas, and last week against the Jets, they “peed down" their legs, per the loquacious Charles Woodson, in forcing only two punts all day, the last after the game was decided. Then there is this: Over those past three games, the Raiders have allowed those opponents to convert an NFL-worst 54.6 percent of their third downs. If Dennis Allen’s seat is warm, it’s because the defense -- his purported forte -- has been so bad of late.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The last time the Oakland Raiders won a football game – at the Houston Texans on Nov. 17 – was also the last time receiver Denarius Moore appeared on a football field.

Before Wednesday.

Moore, who injured a shoulder in that win over the Texans, practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday and could be on track to play against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum on Sunday.

“I thought he moved around pretty good … did some pretty good things out there and was able to be functional,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Moore, who has 37 receptions for 569 yards this season.

“It’s a matter, really, of how does he respond tomorrow? And if he continues to respond positively, then I think there’s a chance of him being available Sunday.”

Allen, though, was less optimistic on the prospects of strong safety Tyvon Branch facing the Chiefs. Branch, who broke his right leg against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 15, began practicing last week and was not ruled out of the New York Jets game until Saturday.

“I don’t know,” Allen said. “I think it’s still questionable whether he’ll be ready to go or not.”

A bright spot for the Raiders, though, was leading rusher Rashad Jennings (588 yards on 126 carries) practicing fully after missing the Jets loss with a concussion suffered on Thanksgiving Day at the Dallas Cowboys.

The following is the Raiders’ injury report for Wednesday:

Did not participate: RB Darren McFadden (ankle), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), DT Vance Walker (concussion)

Limited practice: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), TE Nick Kasa (concussion), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), LB Sio Moore (neck)

Full practice: LG Khalif Barnes (knee/ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (knee), DE Jason Hunter (foot/finger), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion), RT Tony Pashos (foot)

Rashad Jennings inactive for Raiders

December, 8, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rashad Jennings, who suffered a concussion in the Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas, was among the seven inactive Oakland Raiders players for Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

As such, the Raiders will be without all three running backs from that loss to the Cowboys as Jennings, Darren McFadden (ankle) and Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee) are all inactive.

Fullback Marcel Reece is expected to move over to tailback and Taiwan Jones, who converted from running back to cornerback this season, should spell Reece.

Following are the Raiders' inactives: SS Tyvon Branch, RG Mike Brisiel, RB Darren McFadden, WR Denarius Moore, RB Jeremy Stewart, RB Rashad Jennings, OL Lamar Mady.
NEWARK, N.J. -- Darren McFadden will miss the Oakland Raiders' game Sunday at the New York Jets with an ankle injury apparently suffered in the Thanksgiving Day loss at the Dallas Cowboys. The oft-injured running back was one of seven players ruled out of the Jets game by the Raiders Friday afternoon, along with strong safety Tyvon Branch, who was hoping to play for the first time since breaking a leg in Week 2.

It will be the fifth game McFadden has missed due to injury this season -- the first time it is not related to his right hamstring -- and the 18th of the Raiders' past 38 games. McFadden, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft who will be a free agent after this season, has never played in more than 13 games in a season during his six-year career.

Also ruled out: receiver Denarius Moore (who will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury), right guard Mike Brisiel, running back Jeremy Stewart, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and safety Usama Young.

As such, the Raiders already have seven “inactive” players for Sunday, though Maiava tweeted he has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, which would open up a roster spot.

And while defensive end Jason Hunter practiced fully Friday and was listed as probable after missing the previous two games with a foot injury, it's the Raiders' running game that has the most questions.

Rashad Jennings -- who was concussed late against the Cowboys and missed the last four games of the 2012 season after suffering a concussion while he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- is questionable, putting the Raiders' running game in flux.

Jennings has yet to clear the NFL's concussion protocol tests, so he's been limited in practice all week.

“We've really got the rest of today and tomorrow,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday. “So we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow.”

Taiwan Jones, who made the conversion from tailback to cornerback this offseason, took snaps at running back this week. And fullback Marcel Reece has played the role in the past.

Allen said this week he would probably go with a running back “by committee” if Jennings, McFadden and Stewart were all unable to play against the Jets. Also, Lucas Nix will replace Brisiel at right guard.

Here is the Raiders' status report for Sunday:

Out: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs/calf), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), S Usama Young (neck)

Questionable: LB Miles Burris (toe), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion)

Probable: DE Jason Hunter (foot), RT Menelik Watson (illness)

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 13

November, 29, 2013
An review of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

A silver lining: The injury to receiver Denarius Moore more than opened the door for former Cowboys wideout Andre Holmes, who put on a show against his one-time team in catching seven passes for a game-high 136 yards. Especially when you consider he entered the game with five career catches for 76 yards. Bittersweet? “It felt good,” he said. “If I had a calendar, I checked this game because I wanted to come here and play well in front of a team I had played for. It just sucks we didn't get the win.” Said Raiders QB Matt McGloin: “He's a guy I definitely trust. … He's a guy that will go and get the ball for you.”

[+] EnlargeOakland's Andre Holmes
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY SportsAndre Holmes had seven catches 136 yards against his former team.
McGloin takes a step back? After being a profile in efficiency in the first half -- he was 11-for-15 passing for 146 yards -- McGloin was 7-15 for 109 yards after halftime and had a costly end-zone interception when the Raiders were attempting to tie the game at 28-28 with 8:39 to play. He attempted a fade or jump-ball pass to the 5-foot-9 Jacoby Ford, who was covered by the 6-foot Brandon Carr. “If it was a touchdown,” McGloin said, “nobody would have thought a thing about it.” Actually, had Ford caught it, there would have been a lot of talk as it would have been his first TD catch since Nov. 6, 2011.

Injuries: Right guard Mike Brisiel was lost for the game after the first play with a knee injury. He was replaced by Andre Gurode, who was replaced after four false start penalties by Lucas Nix. Also injured: running back Rashad Jennings (concussion), safety Usama Young (stinger), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (calf) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (stinger).

Of explosive plays XII: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by coach Dennis Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air, 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had seven such plays against the Cowboys, all passes. Dallas had five explosive plays, one run and four passes. In 12 games, the Raiders have 86 explosive plays (24 runs, 62 passes), with three TD runs and seven passing scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, now have 84 explosive plays combined, 18 runs (one TD) and 66 passes (seven TDs).
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Rookie tight end Mychal Rivera, who took a vicious hit from Tennessee Titans free safety Michael Griffin that knocked his helmet off in the Oakland Raiders' 23-19 loss on Sunday, said he has passed his concussion tests and will play Thursday at Dallas.

“I have taken every step and I'm fully cleared,” Rivera said. “Saw the neurologist. I've taken all the tests and everything is good.”

Rivera said he also saw a replay of the hit, which cost Griffin a one-game suspension.

“It was pretty brutal,” Rivera said. “The really brutal thing about it was my helmet falling off and my head hitting the ground. It wasn't really the hit. The hit was pretty hard to my head but it was more my helmet falling off and (my head) hitting the ground.

“Michael Griffin sent me a text. He said the hit wasn't malicious. He was just doing his job. I really respected that from him. I hit him back and told him I respected he was just doing his job and I said we'd see each other again in the future.”

With a short week before a Thanksgiving Day game at the Cowboys.

“Obviously, being a short week, we have to have backup plans if those aren't able to go,” said coach Dennis Allen.

Following, then, is the Raiders' injury report for Monday:

Did not participate: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), DE Jason Hunter (foot), Denarius Moore (shoulder)

Limited practice: LB Kevin Burnett (quad), CB Mike Jenkins (concussion), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs), RB Darren McFadden (hamstring), LB Sio Moore (shoulder), DT Daniel Muir (knee), TE Mychal Rivera (concussion)

Watson among inactives, Pryor active

November, 24, 2013
OAKLAND -- Rookie right tackle Menelik Watson is an apparent healthy scratch for the Oakland Raiders as Watson, who was not on the team’s injury report this week, is among their seven inactive players.

Terrelle Pryor's right knee, though, is healthy enough that he is active and will be Matt McGloin's backup at quarterback.

The Raiders will have more of their undrafted free agents starting against the Tennessee Titans -- three, McGloin, left guard Lucas Nix and receiver Rod Streater -- than players they have drafted over the past two years -- two, defensive tackle Stacy McGee and linebacker Sio Moore.

Here are the inactives for both teams:

Raiders: SS Tyvon Branch, DE Jason Hunter, RB Darren McFadden, OL Lamar Mady, WR Denarius Moore, OT Menelik Watson, QB Tyler Wilson

Titans: OT Byron Stingily, DT Mike Martin, QB John Skelton, WR Damian Williams, CB Micah Pellerin, C Kevin Matthews, LB Zac Diles
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders ruled four players out of Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans in leading receiver Denarius Moore, defensive end Jason Hunter, running back Darren McFadden and strong safety Tyvon Branch.

Moore injured his shoulder in Houston last weekend and he did not practice this week.

“There’s an injury there,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “It’s a painful injury and once that kind of calms down a little bit, I think he’s of the nature and of the mindset that he’ll be able to battle through it.”

It will be the first game Moore will miss this season. He has 37 receptions for 569 yards and five touchdowns. Andre Holmes will start in Moore's place.

Hunter, meanwhile, has excelled in setting the edge in the team’s run defense. He also has two sacks.

McFadden, meanwhile, will be missing his third straight game since re-aggravating his right hamstring against Philadelphia on Nov. 3. It will be his fourth game missed due to injury in this, his contract year. McFadden has never played more than 13 games in his six-year career and, with this weekend, will have missed 17 of Oakland’s last 36 games.

The Raiders are also monitoring the health of quarterback Terrelle Pryor" target="_blank">Terrelle Pryor’s right knee. If he is healthy enough to play, he will serve as Matt McGloin’s backup against the Titans.

Following, then, is the Raiders’ status report for Sunday:

Out: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), DE Jason Hunter (foot), RB Darren McFadden (right hamstring), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder).

Questionable: WR Juron Criner (right shoulder), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs), DT Daniel Muir (knee), QB Terrelle Pryor (knee)

Probable: RG Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), WR Andre Holmes (hamstring), RT Matt McCants (toe)