Key defensive lineman Desmond Bryant returned to practice today after missing one day with a sore elbow. Therefore, it’s likely he will be ready to play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
We’ll know for sure in about an hour, when coach Dennis Allen convenes with the media for a few minutes before the team boards waiting buses for a ride to Oakland Airport on their way to Kansas City.
Bryant has played a key role as part of the Raiders defensive line rotation, spelling players from time to time so that those guys can remain fresh deep into the game.
In addition, Bryant is one of Oakland’s most consistent producers on defense. So, having him healthy enough to play Sunday is critical to the Raiders overall chances against the Chiefs.
— Cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) and right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) are not practicing once again. Allen on Monday that they were “doubtful” for the Chiefs game. That likely will change to “out” once we meet with Allen in a bit.
— Not much else to report from the field, given media access was limited to 8 minutes today.
Typically, the media are granted 30 minutes at practice each day. However, league rules stipulate that teams are allowed to end media access after 30 minutes or whenever they break into full-team drills.
Such was the case today. Let’s hope it’s an aberration and occurred only because the Raiders are cutting short practice in lieu of their early departure for the airport.
— Otherwise, the Raiders appear near full strength heading into the Chiefs game, even if 17 other players are listed on the injury report.
The biggest question mark is, outside linebacker Aaron Curry. He is practicing again today for the sixth straight time since he returned from the physically unable to perform list.
Allen left open the possibility of Curry being activated to the 53-man roster in time for the Chiefs game. They Raiders have 12 more days or so before they are forced to make a move with Curry.
If Curry is activated, it’s likely that he would be used on special teams and as a backup at all three linebacker spots.
— The Raiders are using piped-in crowd noise at practice, which seems almost laughable for a game against the 1-5 Chiefs.
Chiefs fans booed when starting quarterback Matt Cassel got hurt at a home game earlier this month. Hence, the boos for the Chiefs might pose more of an issue for the Raiders than cheers, as used to be the case at games there.