ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Raiders saw a new but familiar face in their locker room Monday, that of receiver Andre Holmes. His four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances came to an end.
And while Holmes has been transferred from the reserve/suspended list to the exempt list, the Raiders have a week to decide whether to activate Holmes to the active 53-man roster.
“We’ll have to see him,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “We haven’t even been able to work with him for a month, for four games. We’ll have to see how he is when he gets back in here.”
Holmes, who was claimed by Oakland off waivers on May 13 after New England waived him two days earlier, is a big, physical target who led the Raiders in the preseason with seven catches, for 86 yards. This after finding out he’d be serving his suspension for a failed test in April.
At the time, Holmes said in a statement he was surprised to learn he had tested positive for a banned amphetamine, according to the Associated Press.
"I know that I had been quite ill when I was tested in early April, as I reported to the sample collector at the time my sample was given, so I thought one of the medications I was taking was responsible,” Holmes said in his statement. “However, to this day, even after further testing, I do not know how the substance got into my system. The drug policy rules are very strict with a zero tolerance, so after consulting with the (NFL Players Association) and reviewing the medical documentation, I will not appeal the discipline.”
So after flashing in camp and the preseason, he sat at home and worked out on his own, and was not allowed any contact with the Raiders. Until Monday, when he walked into the facility’s locker room late in the afternoon.
“Whatever role that I get, I’ll just come in and try to do that to the best of my ability,” said Holmes, who has played in seven NFL games in his career, all with Dallas last year, and has two receptions for 11 yards.
“Whatever my opportunity is, I’ll just come in and try to do that the best I can.
“It really kind of (stunk) not to be out there to contribute or have my hand in it. So I’m excited to be back.”
Singling out Oakland’s wide receivers, Denarius Moore leads the Raiders with 15 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while Rod Streater has 13 catches for 172 yards. Rookie Brice Butler has seven catches for 78 yards and Jacoby Ford has four catches for 29 yards.
And that’s it for the Raiders receiving corps. If and when Oakland activates the 6-feet-4, 210-pound Holmes, the wideout to keep an eye on as a potential roster cut, then, might be second-year receiver Juron Criner. The fifth-round draft pick in 2012 has been inactive for all four games thus far.
Holmes said he thought he would be ready to play this weekend against San Diego, though he realizes that is not his call.
“I mean, there might be a little rustiness, just getting back to playing,” he said. “But I feel like I did a pretty good job these past four weeks in keeping myself mentally and physically prepared.”