By Steve Corkran
Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 10:50 am in Oakland Raiders.
Jacoby Ford spent most of his first day back working on getting back in the swing of playing wide receiver. On Thursday, he added kick return to his workload.
Ford missed the past two games with a hamstring strain. He returned the bulk of the kicks in practice today, as Nick Miller, Denarius Moore and Taiwan Jones looked on.
Toward the end, Jones returned a kick. Ford returned kicks in the regular-season opener. Miller replaced him against the Buffalo Bills. Jones handled the role against the New York Jets.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he will consider using Ford on kicks against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Jones is the logical candidate to return kicks if Jackson opts against taxing Ford in his first game back.
Free safety Michael Huff is at practice for the second straight day. That bodes well for his playing Sunday and not being bothered anymore by the concussion he suffered against the Jets.
Fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), wide receiver Louis Murphy (groin/hamstring), linebacker Ricky Brown (concussion) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring) also are not at practice.
As of now, it appears a long-shot that Reece, Murphy and Johnson will be healthy enough to play Sunday. Brown won’t be cleared to practice until he passes the mandatory tests for players who suffer a concussion. Shaughnessy’s status is uncertain.
Three officials are presiding over practice once again. They have been out here for the Wednesday and Thursday practices the past three weeks on the heels of the Raiders committing 15 penalties in their first game.
Some might say the added attention is paying off. The Raiders cut down that figure to eight against the Bills and seven against the Jets.
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for Septempber.
He tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal against the Broncos. He also had a 54-yarder off the dirt against the Jets.
Janikowski is the only player in NFL history with two field goals of 60 yards or longer. His first one came against the Cleveland Browns in 2009, when he connected from 61 yards.
In somewhat of a shocker, Moore wasn’t even considered for AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month despite two impressive games.
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