By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 at 10:50 am in Oakland Raiders.
Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is at practice, as expected, rocking No. 84 and apparently taking the place of fellow veteran Derek Hagan.
Houshmandzadeh is among the six wide receivers on the practice field, and Hagan is not among them for the first time all season.
Houshmandzadeh signed with the Raiders on Tuesday after working out for coach Hue Jackson. He has a chance to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos, given he can get in three practices.
The Raiders are hopeful that he can provide a spark for a receiving corps that hasn’t produced much in recent games. Darrius Heyward-Bey has been the lone consistent performer all season.
In other news, running back Darren McFadden is not at practice once again. He has missed all four practices since he suffered a mid-foot sprain against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 23.
It’s looking more and more as if Jackson intends to rest McFadden for the Broncos game in hopes of having him for the AFC West showdown against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 10.
Jackson has to feel confident that the Raiders can get past the Broncos without McFadden. If they can’t beat the Broncos without McFadden, then the Raiders problems run deeper than an injured lead back.
Middle linebacker Rolando McClain (leg), cornerbacks Chris Johnson (hamstring) and Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) also aren’t practicing.
Tight end Kevin Boss (concussion) and fullback Marcel Reece (ankle) are practicing and showing no negative effects from their injuries.
Interestingly, the Raiders still have fullback Manase Tonga on their 53-man roster. He has either impressed Jackson enough to warrant a longer look, or Jackson isn’t convinced that Reece is ready to play at full strength.
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