Jackson mum on rotation

The Raiders went through a 90-minute walkthrough Wednesday in preparation to host the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night at O.co Coliseum.

Coach Hue Jackson said he would be considering player rotations Wednesday night, which means we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out since there is no more media access.

It’s clear the following players will be out with injuries, most undisclsoed: running back Darren McFadden (broken orbital bone), wide receiver Jacoby Ford (broken left hand), running back Taiwan Jones, safety Mike Mitchell, cornerback Chemdi Chekwa and wide receiver Louis Murphy. Others who won’t play include linebacker Bruce Davis, offensive lineman Aaron Pelc, offensive lineman Bruce Campbell and defensive end Trevor Scott.

Scott said he hoped to be returning soon.

— Jackson even had a few Raiders go on to the field for a simulation of pregame introductions and practice standing for the National Anthem.

— Center Stefen Wisniewski and tackle Stephon Heyer both got some snaps in with the first team.

–Wisniewski, tackle Joe Barksdale and free agents Ben Lamaak and Mason Brodine were spotted with hideous haricuts courtesy of veterans. Wisniewski was given a Friar Tuck similar to the one the Broncos gave Tim Tebow last year. Barksdale, who planned on shaving his head after lunch, had something resembling a Mohawk.

Brodine said his barber was Lamarr Houston. Khalif Barnes did the honors for Barksdale.

x–Louis Rankin is fine with getting the rented-mule treatment as the Raiders are without McFadden, had Michael Bush arrive late, dealt with injuries to Michael Bennett and tried to keep 10-year veteran Rock Cartwright fresh.

Rankin has had the most substantial workload of any player in camp and spent part of Wednesday’s session being worked on by trainers. He said he felt better Thursday.

“This is actually the most reps I’ve ever had, including college,” Rankin said. “This is a lot of reps. A lot of guys got banged up early. But it’s a good thing. I feel the more reps, the better. I’m starting to get my legs back under me again. Yesterday was kind of tough on me, but like I said, the camp’s been going pretty good.”

Rankin is thankful for a CBA that prevented things from being even more grueling.

“If we were having two-a-days, I don’t know where I’d be,” Rankin said.

— Wide receiver Nick Miller was back at practice so he should be available to return punts and kickoffs against Arizona.

— Wide receivers Chad Jackson and Derek Hagan continue to make the wide receiver competition interesting with their play of late, although the favorite six are Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, Denarius Moore and Miller.

— Jackson continues to distance himself from the “We’re not losers any more” ending of coach Tom Cable.

“Eight and eight doesn’t cut it for me. I’m not interested in being 8-8,” Jackson said. “I’m interested in being great. I’m interested in our players being great. I’m interested in our great players playing great and I’m interested in our fans being great.

“If that’s the case I’m encouraging all of our fans to get behind this team and watch us because I truly believe that the time is now. I’ve said it and I’m going to keep saying it. Nobody is going to make me stop saying it because that’s what I believe.”

— Regarding the attendance, the paid crowd announced following the game should be a rough approximation of this year’s number of season tickets that were sold. A crowd in the low 20,000s will make it difficult for the Raiders to prevent blackouts even if the team approaches Jackson’s standard.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer