By Steve Corkran
Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 10:36 am in Oakland Raiders.
Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, cornerback Chris Johnson and fullback Marcel Reece are among those not practicing today. That brings about the prospect of the Raiders playing against the Houston Texans without three key starters.
Worse, Johnson’s backup, Chimdi Chekwa, and Reece’s backup, Richard Gordon, also aren’t practicing. Therefore, it’s likely that coach Hue Jackson’s “next-man-up” philosophy is going to be put to the test Sunday.
The Raiders have players who can fill the void if Shaughnessy can’t play for the second straight game. Trevor Scott and Jarvis Moss are capable replacements at end. Moss is practicing, even though he suffered a chest injury in practice Wednesday.
Gordon broke a hand against the New England Patriots. It’s interesting that he isn’t practicing, given he returned to action against the Patriots after his injury.
It’s conceivable that Gordon is being held out of practice so that he doesn’t aggravate his injury and that he will play Sunday. If not, the Raiders’ options are to use Michael Bush at fullback or to promote Manase Tonga from the practice squad.
Chekwa has a hamstring injury that limited his participation in practice Wednesday. If he and Johnson can’t play, it’s likely that Joe Porter will get the nod opposite Stanford Routt.
Fortunately for the Raiders, the Texans won’t have lead wide receiver Andre Johnson on Sunday. Johnson reportedly underwent surgery for a hamstring injure he suffered last Sunday, and he is expected to miss as many as three games.
Free safety Michael Huff was riding a stationary bike at practice during the media-access window. He was limited in practice Wednesday but it appears as if he’s is good to go Sunday, even though he is hobbled by an ankle injury.
Bush and Darren McFadden are practicing and showing no lingering effects from recent injuries. In Bush’s case, he hurt an ankle against the Patriots. McFadden tweaked his groin against the Jets on Sept. 25.
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