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Allen: McCants ahead of Watson

11/25/2013

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders right tackle Menelik Watson, the team’s second-round draft pick who has battled injury since training camp, was not hurt entering Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, despite his being inactive.

Watson was simply a healthy scratch.

“With Menelik, we have a situation with a guy who has really played a year of junior college, a year at Florida State and then missed training camp and the majority of the season,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “He’s behind from a fundamental standpoint.”

The Raiders had seven active linemen against the Titans -- LT Khalif Barnes, LG Lucas Nix, C Stefen Wisniewski, RG Mike Brisiel, RT Tony Pashos, G Andre Gurode and T Matt McCants.

In fact, McCants, who was essentially active in place of Watson, played 13 snaps as an “extra” tight end, per Pro Football Focus.

“Matt McCants is a guy who we picked up early who’s been in the system and has been getting the work in,” Allen added. “And, when he’s gone in there, he’s played well.”

McCants was a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2012, and after spending last season on their practice squad, was waived this past Aug. 31. He was then signed to the Raiders’ practice squad two days later before being promoted on Sept. 7.

“He’s ahead of Menelik,” Allen said of McCants, who missed the Giants and Houston Texans games with a toe injury. “We still feel like Menelik has a bright future for us, but he’s missed so much time.”

Watson has endured injuries to his calf and underwent knee surgery before the season.