By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 2:23 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said long-snapper Jon Condo suffered a concussion and that Condo won’t play against the Miami Dolphins unless he gets cleared by doctors.
Until then, the plan is to decide whether to take a look at some of the free-agent long-snappers or give Travis Goethel another shot, if needed.
“We’ve obviously got some plans in place in case he’s not ready to play,” Allen said.
One of those is to give Goethel more meaningful practice time. Punter Shane Lechler said Goethel received “zero” snaps during full-team drills. Goethel said his snapping was limited to before full-team practices started.
To that end, Allen said he didn’t do a good enough job preparing Goethel for being thrust into a game. Goethel entered the game midway through the second quarter Monday night, and he bounced two snaps to Lechler, which resulted in aborted plays.
A third snap floated to Lechler, whose punt was blocked off his foot, with the Chargers winding up with the ball deep in Raiders territory.
“That falls on me,” Allen said in reference to Goethel not being better prepared. “I’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re prepared for all those different situations. We practiced Travis snapping the ball but we could have probably done a better job of putting him in more live-type situations and giving him the opportunity to do it, kind of representing what he would do in a regular game.”
– Starting cornerback Ron Bartell suffered a shoulder injury Monday night. Allen said Bartell is undergoing an MRI today.
It’s unclear whether Bartell will be able to play against the Dolphins. If not, veteran Pat Lee is expected to start. Lee replaced Bartell against the Chargers.
“Hey, listen, we’ve got NFL football players on our roster and we expect them to go out and play like NFL players,” Allen said. “He went out and did a pretty good job last night against a pretty good group of receivers and a pretty good passing game.”
– With Jacoby Ford expected to miss a “significant” amount of time now that he is having foot surgery, Allen said it’s time to rethink whether the Raiders have enough firepower with the five wide receivers currently on the 53-man roster.
“We’re going to look at everybody that’s available, and if we feel like there’s somebody that can help us, give us a chance to be better and help this team win, then we’re going to do that,” Allen said.
Allen didn’t rule out the possibility of signing veteran wide receiver Chad Johnson.
“If he fits that category, then I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Allen said.
Johnson was waived by the Miami Dolphins in training camp. He played with Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer in Cincinnati from 2003-2010.
Allen also didn’t rule out the possibility of signing either Brandon Carswell or Travionte Session from the practice squad to take Ford’s spot.
– Running back Taiwan Jones fumbled the opening kick-off Monday night and later mishandled the toss on a reverse from fullback Marcel Reece — in fairness, Reece’s pitch wasn’t easy to handle.
Allen said that factored in to Jones not getting any touches in the run or passing game. It was believed that Jones secured the No. 2 spot, behind Darren McFadden. However, Mike Goodson got two carries Monday night.
– Allen said he was aware of the rule that permits the receiving team an untimed down if a game ends on a punt, with the kicking team touching the ball first.
However, he wasn’t aware of the fact that it was the Chargers that touched the ball first Monday night on the final play of the game. Hence, he didn’t plead his case with the officials.
“I knew the rule that if they touched the ball first that it was illegal touching, and we should’ve been awarded another play,” Allen said. “I wasn’t sure exactly who touched the ball first when it happened in the game, and it was later that I realized it was them that touched the ball first.”
– Allen said he is “very hopeful” that wide receiver Denarius Moore will be able to play Sunday against the Dolphins.
Allen contemplated using Moore against the Chargers. However, he opted against rushing him back after Moore missed more than a month with a hamstring injury.
– Center Stefen Wisniewski was active Monday night, yet Alex Parsons started at center. Allen said that competition remains open for the long-term starting job.
Wisniewski will receive more reps in practice this week in an attempt to get in football shape. Wisniewski missed all of the offseason workouts while recovering from shoulder surgery. He also played only one series in Oakland’s four exhibition games and practiced for two weeks before shutting it down with a calf injury.
– The Raiders made stopping the run a huge priority in the offseason. The initial returns are quite encouraging.
The Chargers called 19 run plays and netted only 34 yards. Yes, the Chargers were without lead back Ryan Mathews, but the Raiders still played well, by all accounts.
“It was good,” Allen said. “Our ability to stop the run a lot of times with six men, or seven men, in the box was a good thing. Our front, as well as our linebackers, did a nice job of understanding what the run fits were and understanding the schemes that they were getting. We got to continue to play the run that way.”
– Of all the things that could have went wrong for the Raiders, having trouble snapping the ball on punts wasn’t high on Allen’s list.
“I didn’t lay asleep at night dreaming about that, that’s for sure,” Allen said. “But that’s the NFL. Injuries happen. You’ve got to be prepred for just about anything. We’ll be more prepared for that next time it comes up.”