By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 7:52 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Wide receiver Derek Hagan returned to practice Wednesday, just as he promised he would. Apparently, the ding he suffered Sunday is better.
Who said you can’t unding a ding?
That leaves only receiver Louis Murphy, tight end Kevin Boss and safety Mike Mitchell as the only ones on the 53-man roster who aren’t able to practice.
There’s still time for Boss and Mitchell to return in time to get in some meaningful reps and get up to speed for the regular-season opener Monday night against the Denver Broncos.
Their status won’t be revealed until Thursday, when the Raiders are required to designate players probable, questionable, doubtful or out.
As of now, it appears as if Murphy will be declared out. Mitchell likley will be doubtful. Boss likely will be questionable. Just an educated guess on these.
*Recently re-signed safety Matt Giordano has switched from No. 49 to No. 27. You can take that as a sign that safety Stevie Brown isn’t in the Raiders plans for another go-round.
Brown was released Saturday, signed by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and waived Wednesday.
*Nick Miller was the only one returning punts at practice tonight. That has been the case the past few practices.
Therefore, it’s logical to assume that Miller is going to be the punt returner against the Broncos.
If coach Hue Jackson opts for a change, Denarius Moore, Taiwan Jones and Jacoby Ford are the logical candidates to take over.
Jackson has said in the past that he is intrigued by the prospect of putting Ford back on punts, but only on occasion. Translation: If a game is tight, Ford might be thrown in to return a punt, with the thinking that the potential gain is worth the risk.
*Receiver Chaz Schilens is practicing for the third straight time. Once again, he looks as healthy as he has been since late last season.
It remains to be seen whether Jackson is confident enough in Schilens’ recovery from a leg injury to play him in a game. What’s more, does Schilens start Monday?
Jackson likely won’t divulge his starting receivers until Thursday night, though we will try to coax it out of him later tonight.
It’s interesting to note that Hagan isn’t even listed on the Raiders depth chart, while the six other receivers are listed.
That brings about the possibility of the Raiders not even activating Hagan for the Broncos game. Too early to get worked up over that one, though.
*The Raiders are practicing under the lights for the first time since 2009, when then-coach Tom Cable took the Raiders to the Coliseum for a night practice in advance of a Monday night game against the San Diego Chargers.
This marks the first time the Raiders have brought in portable lights to their Alameda complex since they relocated to Oakland in 1995.
*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl