The Raiders on Sunday got back more players at practice than they lost, for a change, as punter Shane Lechler, running back Taiwan Jones and tight end Brandon Myers participated in the no-pads proceedings.
For Lechler, it marked his training camp debut. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee just before camp started and missed every practice and the first two exhibition games before today.
Coach Dennis Allen said he anticipates Lechler punting against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.
Jones has missed both exhibition games, as well as a slew of practices, while recovering from a hamstring inujury. He has a decent chance of making his debut in a game Saturday, as well.
Myers didn’t do much in the full-team drills. No big deal there, Allen said. The goal was to get Myers moving around on the heels of missing numerous practices with a shoulder injury.
Myers still is competing for the starting job that opened when the Raiders released Kevin Boss in the offseason. Allen said earlier this camp that Myers was the leading candidate for the job.
Now, the job figures to be wide open, given Myers’ absence for a spell.
— As for wide receiver Jacoby Ford, coach Dennis Allen said Ford felt better today than he did Friday and Saturday. Ford suffered a sprained left foot at the end of a reception against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night.
Allen said there isn’t any structural damage to Ford’s foot, the same one he sprained last season, and also no swelling.
Even so, he admitted, it’s conceivable that Ford’s absence could extend into the regular season. The Raiders open the season at home against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 10.
— Allen stated the obvious when he said that backup running back Mike Goodson has to do a better job of protecting the football if he is to be counted upon.
Goodson fumbled twice against the Cardinals on Friday night. That’s in keeping with Goodson’s track record since he joined the NFL. He fumbled seven times in 125 touches with the Carolina Panthers.
— Allen said wide receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring) is closer to returning to practice. He, too, has missed considerable practice time and both exhibition games.
The same can’t be said of linebacker Aaron Curry, who rejoined the team Saturday but still isn’t ready to practice at full-speed or play in a game, Allen said.
Allen added that Curry won’t be thrust into action until he’s ready to roll, and Curry isn’t ready to roll yet. If he isn’t able to get after it soon, Allen reiterated, it will be time to game plan with Miles Burris in mind as the starting weak-side linebacker for the regular season.
As much as Allen is impressed by Burris, he conceded that there’s something to be said for having a veteran presence at linebacker.
— Defensive tackle Richard Seymour was held out of practice today. Allen said that’s in keeping with the time-honored tradition of giving veteran players extra time off every now and then as a means of keeping them fresh throughout the grind of a long season.
Seymour has been bothered by a sore knee at times in camp. However, today’s day off had more to do with giving Seymour a breather than the knee, Allen said.
— The Raiders break camp in Napa on Thursday. Already, Allen said, the three weeks spent here can be considered a success.
Why so? Well, he said, the goal is to leave camp a better team than the one that arrived. Mission accomplished.
— The Raiders are off Monday. They practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before shutting down here and relocating to their year-round facility in Alameda.