Oakland Raiders: Vance Walker

Raiders re-sign DT Sims

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
The Oakland Raiders stayed busy Friday with their third announced signing of the day, re-upping defensive tackle Pat Sims. The contract was for one year, per a Tweet from his agent Rick Smith.

Sims was a 16-game starter for the first time in his career last season, his first year with the Raiders after the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Auburn. He had never started more than eight games in a season before and only once had played in 16 games.

How did Sims respond? With 49 tackles, 31 solo, and two sacks. He also had a career game in Week 16 at San Diego, where he had 15 tackles, 10 solo, with a sack. He never had more than five tackles in any game in his career before doing it to the Chargers.

“As far as the D-tackle, we don’t always have the major stats here and there but at the same time I go out there and do my job every week,” Sims said the week after that game. “The stats have picked up but I’m still playing with the same effort.”

The run-stuffing 6-feet-2, 310-pounder has played in 76 career games, 39 starts, and has 228 tackles, 129 solo, with seven sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, one interception and one pass defensed in his career.

His re-signing helps solidify the interior of the Raiders defensive line after Vance Walker left for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.

Earlier Friday, the Raiders signed running back Maurice Jones-Drew and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.

Rookie glance: DT Stacy McGee

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
How acquired: Sixth-round draft pick (No. 205 overall) out of Oklahoma

2013 season: Was a head-scratcher of a pick for the regime of Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen, what with their stated desire to bring in "high-character" players and McGee's rap sheet at Oklahoma. But Stacy McGeekept his nose clean and played hard when in games. In fact, he played in 15 games, missing one with a shoulder injury, and had five starts in the Raiders' last seven games at nose tackle. The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder was an imposing figure in the trenches and had 26 tackles, 15 solo, with a sack, and a fumble recovery.

Looking ahead: With interior defensive linemen Pat Sims, Daniel Muir and Vance Walker all about to become unrestricted free agents, the future could be now for McGee, especially if he adds bulk to become a prototypical nose tackle. He was a pleasant surprise in 2013 and should be counted on for even more in 2014, especially if the Raiders show more 3-4 alignments.

The Raiders' other 2013 rookies that finished the season on the roster: TE Mychal Rivera, RB Latavius Murray, TE Nick Kasa, LB Sio Moore, OT Menelik Watson, CB D.J. Hayden, DE Ryan Robinson, CB Chance Casey, S Shelton Johnson, WR Greg Jenkins, OG Lamar Mady, QB Matt McGloin and WR Brice Butler .
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Vance Walker practiced Friday for the first time since suffering a concussion at the New York Jets on Dec. 8 and is listed as being questionable to play Sunday at the San Diego Chargers.

“He’s close,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Walker, who has started a career-high 13 games after starting a combined 11 in his first four NFL seasons.

“He’s still got another (concussion protocol) step that he’s got to go through, so we’ll evaluate him tomorrow. He’ll be a game-time decision.”

Also, running back Darren McFadden practiced in a full capacity after being limited the previous two days, increasing the likelihood he will play for the first time since Thanksgiving Day. He was listed as probable.

And in a minor roster move, the Raiders put rookie linebacker Sam Montgomery, who was signed to the practice squad on Wednesday, on the team’s practice squad injured reserve list with a knee issue.

“He got hurt the first day of practice,” Allen said.

“He’s a talented player, and we wanted to get him in here and take a look at him to see if he’s somebody that we could work into the future. Obviously, he had the injury, so we weren’t able to get very much of an evaluation on him.”

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

Out: RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee)

Questionable: LB Miles Burris (ankle), DT Vance Walker (concussion)

Probable: TE Jeron Mastrud (wrist), Darren McFadden (knee/ankle), G Lucas Nix (illness), FS Charles Woodson (ribs), LB Sio Moore (illness)

McFadden practicing again for Raiders

December, 19, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- There did not appear to be any setbacks to running back Darren McFadden's comeback attempt, as he practiced for the second day in a row Thursday for the Oakland Raiders.

McFadden, who has missed the Raiders' last two games with knee and ankle issues, has also missed five of the Raiders' past six games and 19 of 39.

He said Wednesday he was aiming to play in the Raiders' final two games, Sunday at the San Diego Chargers and Dec. 29 at home against the Denver Broncos.

"It feels great being able to be back out there," McFadden said Wednesday. "It's one of those things, two games left, I want to just go out here and finish strong, go out here and fight with my teammates."

In eight games, McFadden has rushed for 365 yards and four touchdowns on 103 carries. His 3.5 yards per carry average is just ahead of last season's career low of 3.3 yards per carry.

Also, free safety Charles Woodson (ribs) and linebacker Miles Burris (ankle) were practicing a day after sitting out.

Defensive lineman Vance Walker (concussion) and running back Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee) were working out on a side field with a trainer, though, alongside rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden, who is on injured reserve with a groin injury.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Darren McFadden knows he has two games remaining on his contract and, potentially, in his career with the Oakland Raiders. Which is why his practicing Wednesday for the first time since injuring an ankle at the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day was so important to him.

He is hoping for one last showcase.

“I would love to,” he said. “That’s one of my things, finishing hard. I know once I’m out there playing hard, I know what I can do. So I don’t let the other things creep into my mind.”

And yes, McFadden, who has missed five of the Raiders’ past six games and 19 of 39, wants to return to Oakland next season.

“I would love to be a Raider next year but like I said, I can only focus on the things that I can control,” he said. “I have to let everybody else handle that.”

First things first because McFadden, who practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday with knee and ankle issues, has to actually get into Sunday’s game at the San Diego Chargers.

“Yeah, that’s the direction that we’re looking at right now,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “So we’ll see how he practices this week.”

Then where would McFadden fit into the rotation at running back, along with Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece?

“Rashad Jennings would be our starting running back,” Allen said, “and both those other guys would work in there.”

McFadden said he was fine with that plan. He just wants to play. Even in a lost season.

“I feel that way, but at the same time there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said. “That time is gone. I can only move forward and deal with the things I have in front of me.”

The following is the Raiders injury report for Wednesday:

Did not participate: LB Miles Burris (ankle), G Lucas Nix (illness), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), DT Vance Walker (concussion), FS Charles Woodson (ribs)

Limited practice: RB Darren McFadden (knee/ankle)

Full practice: TE Jeron Mastrud (wrist)
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oft-injured running back Darren McFadden, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle and four of the previous eight with a strained hamstring, was practicing for the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday.

McFadden could give the offense a lift as the Raiders (4-10) prepare for their final two games of the season, beginning this weekend at the San Diego Chargers (7-7).

Still, McFadden has missed 19 of Oakland’s previous 39 games, 29 games in his six-year career and has never played in more than 13 games because of toe, knee, hamstring, toe, foot, ankle, hamstring and ankle injuries.

He has a salary-cap number of more than $9.6 million this season and is making more than $5.8 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent.

McFadden, who has appeared in eight games, has rushed for 365 yards with a 3.5 yards-per-carry average, just ahead of last year’s career-low 3.3-yard average.

There was no sign, though, of concussed defensive lineman Vance Walker, who missed Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also, the Raiders signed three players to their practice squad: cornerback Johnny Adams, safety Kyle McCarthy and defensive end Sam Montgomery.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Receiver Denarius Moore went through his second consecutive practice after missing the previous three games with a shoulder injury and would seem to be on track to playing Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He had another good day today," coach Dennis Allen said. "Obviously, I'm not ready to make the decision yet, but it's moving in a positive direction."

If Moore, who has 37 catches for 569 yards and a team-high five receiving touchdowns, is active against the Chiefs, it presents a challenge for the Raiders. Andre Holmes has excelled in Moore's absence, and Rod Streater, with 50 receptions, is just 213 yards away from becoming the first Raiders receiver with a 1,000-yard receiving season since Randy Moss in 2005.

A likely scenario would have Moore and Holmes on the outside with Streater sliding into the slot.

"It's another element that we have, another weapon that we have that we feel like we can utilize," Allen said. "The more guys you have like that, the better you're going to be. It gives us a boost.

"There's only so many guys that can be on the field at the same time so, obviously, if you add another guy into the mix somebody's going to lose a few reps here or there. All those guys are guys that we can still plan on using and plan on having in the game plan a significant amount."

There were no changes to the Raiders' injury report Thursday as defensive tackle Vance Walker was still exhibiting concussion symptoms, so he is unlikely to play Sunday.

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

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)

Midseason Report: Oakland Raiders

November, 6, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- You knew this was going to be a rebuilding year for the Oakland Raiders and, before Sunday's embarrassing 49-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland was playing above expectations. Indeed, after a 4-12 season last year, the Raiders had a chance to win their fourth game at this year's midway points.

Alas, the Eagles and Nick Foles, who threw a record-tying seven touchdowns, had different plans and it makes you wonder if these are indeed the same old Raiders who have not been to the playoffs since 2002, let alone had a winning season since that Super Bowl campaign. The difference, at least on the surface, is this team has been in every game save two -- at Denver and against the Eagles.

But the NFL is a results-oriented business and at the midway point, the Raiders sit at 3-5.