News, notes and observations Friday following Raiders practice and a press briefing with coach Tom Cable:
– Left tackle Robert Gallery is listed as doubtful, but almost certainly won’t play Sunday because of a hamstring pull, the 11th game he’s missed out of the last 17. Daniel Loper will start in his place.
Richard Seymour, whose hamstring injury is less severe, will be a game time decision, according to Cable.
“He’s actually feeling pretty good,’’ Cable said. “The issue is not having done any real work, so we’ll see come Sunday.’’
Because of his years in the league, Cable wouldn’t be concerned about having Seymour play after missing practice all week.
“He’s done this before,’’ Cable said. “He’s so attentive in meetings and all that, he’s played enough, so he’s got a pretty good idea of what’s going on. It’s just a matter of health.’’
– WR Chaz Schilens (knee) is out, CB Walter McFadden (hamstring) is out, LB Travis Goethel (lower back) is out, DT Desmond Bryant (elbow) is probable, RB Michael Bush (fractured thumb) is questionable, S Hiram Eugene (hamstring) is questionable), and CB Chris Johnson (stinger) is questionable.
Cable conceded the number of hamstring injuries is a cause for concern. Darren McFadden missed much of training camp with a hamstring strain, as did Chris Johnson.
“The way the offseason program and the way everything is set up, the link to camp and all those kinds of things, you can overtrain your team, so you always have to be evaluating that and make sure you’ve given them enough rest time and give those muscles a chance to recover,’’ Cable said. “It’s something we’re looking at.’’
– Cable said he was heading upstairs after the press briefing to look at film and determine whether rookie Jared Veldheer or veteran Samson Satele would be the starting center.
That means, barring a first-ever update by the media relations department of a lineup switch, the starter will be known on Sunday, with the Fox production crew probably getting word Saturday.
– Should Seymour be unable to play, the starter wouldn’t necessarily be John Henderson, although he would get considerable time.
Cable said it could be Bryant starting with Henderson in the rotation, or the other way around.
— Running back Michael Bush will again be a game time decision. He’s got a better chance to play than the previous week against Tennessee, when his availability was portrayed as questionable mostly for show, but he’s no slam dunk to suit up 20 days after surgery.
“He’s feeling better, and he’s done a lot of work this week, but there’s still some issues so we’ll get to Sunday and we’ll make a decision right then,’’ Cable said.
Bush has to be able to 1) Carry and protect the ball; 2) Extend his hands and be able to pass block; 3) Catch passes with his left hand being protected; 4) Be healed enough in terms of the surgery to be cleared by doctors.
– Although it appeared during the practice window and from talking to Jacoby Ford Thursday it would be Ford on kickoff returns and Johnnie Lee Higgins on punt returns, Cable said it could be more of a mix and situation and then going with one man should he get a hot hand.
More to come . . .