By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 12:53 pm in Oakland Raiders.
A few news and notes from a quick press press briefing Friday with coach Tom Cable:
– Wide receiver Louis Murphy (hip) and cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) made it all the way through practice, making it likely both will start when the Raiders visit the San Diego Chargers Sunday.
Murphy and Johnson both did not finish Thursday’s practice.
– Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, after missing two days with a stomach virus, was back at practice and made it all the way through, although he said he still feels a little shaky.
Gradkowski said he had a temperature of 101 degrees Monday, missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday, and was headed to get an I.V.
– According to unofficial tackling stats on NFL.com, strong safety Tyvon Branch leads all safeties in tackles with 55.
Part of that has to do with too many runners breaking into the secondary, but it’s also true Branch has been one of the Raiders’ most sure tacklers.
“Tyvon missed a couple last week, but for the most part he’s been very consistent and is playing extremely well, he and (Michael) Huff both have been very good in their time in there,” Cable said. “Tyvon’s played all year, been good at coverage, good at tackling, done a very, very good job.”
Cable conceded Branch has played so well it hasn’t afforded a lot of opportunities for Mike Mitchell to get on the field. The Raiders play with a single high safety and strong safety who plays closer to the line of scrimmage, and both Branch and Mitchell are more suited to being in the box.
He said the Raiders have attempted to get Mitchell on the field by playing him as a linebacker in some nickel packages.
– Official injury designations_ WR Nick Miller shin (out), RB Darren McFadden (knee) out, T Cornell Green (calf) out, LB Ricky Brown (ankle) out, TE Tony Stewart (chest) doubtful, WR Chaz Schilens (foot) doubtful, LG Robert Gallery (leg) questionable, DE Greg Ellis (knee) questionable, WR Louis Murphy (hip) probable, CB Chris Johnson (groin) probable, DT Gerard Warren (ribs) probable.