The expected return of cornerback Ron Bartell to practice this week comes as a bit of good news for the Raiders as they persevere despite a long list of injured players.
Bartell went down with a shoulder injury in the regular-season opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 10, and he missed the past six games while on injured-reserve/designated to return.
Bartell isn’t eligible to play in a game until Nov. 11, when the Raiders play the Baltimore Ravens.
Shawntae Spencer, the other starting cornerback, has missed the past five games with a foot injury. There is no timetable for his return.
The injuries to Bartell and Spencer prompted the Raiders to move free safety Michael Huff to cornerback.
Allen said Monday that he hasn’t decided whether to leave Huff at cornerback once Bartell returns or move him back to free safety.
Bartell’s return comes at a time when the Raiders added a few more names to an injury report that featured 20 players for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Backup running back Mike Goodson suffered a turf-toe injury Sunday and center Stefen Wisniewski hurt an ankle.
Allen said he is hopeful that Goodson and Wisniewski will recover well enough to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Goodson’s injury is the one of most concern, Allen said. If Goodson can’t play Sunday, second-year back Taiwan Jones and fullback Marcel Reece would pick up the slack behind lead back Darren McFadden.
— Allen has succeeded where so many of his predecessors failed in terms of curbing the penalties.
Then-coach Hue Jackson last season promised that he would get the problem under control, even if it took all season.
As it turned out, Jackson left town with his name attached to a season in which the Raiders set league marks for most penalties (163) and yards penalized (1,358).
Through seven games, the Raiders have committed 42 penalties (tied for 26th) and been penalized for 331 yards (27th). They are on pace for 96 penalties for 757 yards this season.
“It’s the players,” Allen said. “We can preach the message and we’ll continue to preach the same message day in and day out. That won’t change. But, really, as with most things that happen successfully on the football field, it’s because the players understand that it correlates to winning and losing games.”
— The league pushed back the trade deadline from Tuesday to Thursday at 1 p.m. Allen said he won’t rule out the Raiders making any trades between now and the deadline.
“We’ll look and see what’s out there,” Allen said. “We’re not going to close all our doors to anything that might be available.”
Last season, the Raiders traded for quarterback Carson Palmer two days after starter Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending collarbone injury.
— Rookie Rod Streater has emerged as the Raiders clear-cut No. 3 wide receiver through seven games.
Streater played 32 snaps Sunday against the Chiefs, while veteran Derek Hagan played only four and rookie Juron Criner one.
Jacoby Ford entered training camp as the No. 3 receiver, behind Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore. However, he suffered a season-ending foot injury in an exhibition game.
— The Raiders held the Chiefs to 102 yards rushing Sunday, though 53 of those came on nine quarterback scrambles.
The Raiders are 11th against the run so far, at an average of 102.1 yards per game and tied for ninth in yards per carry (3.9).
Last season, the Raiders finished 27th against the run (136.1) and last in yards per carry (5.1).
— Allen gave his players the day off Monday as a reward for how well they played against the Chiefs. They return to practice Wednesday in preparation for the Buccaneers.
“There are times during the season where players need a mental break and a physical break,” Allen said. “I felt like, we had the bye, we’ve gone through three straight tough weeks, it was time to give them a little bit of a mental break.”
Even so, numerous players showed up at the team’s facility to get a jump on breaking down video.