As expected, running back Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are not practicing today as they recover from high-ankle sprains suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
We won’t have an update on the status of Oakland’s top two running backs until we get a chance to speak with coach Dennis Allen in about 90 minutes.
McFadden underwent X-rays and an MRI soon after his injury. Both returned negative. Goodson had an MRI on Monday. We won’t know the result of that test until we speak with Allen.
For now, the Raiders are making do with second-year back Taiwan Jones and fullback Marcel Reece. It’s conceivable that the Raiders will sign a free-agent back or sign rookie Jeremy Stewart from the practice squad if it reaches the point where McFadden and Goodson are ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Allen said Monday that he hasn’t ruled out McFadden.
— Defensive lineman Desmond Bryant is back at practice today, two days after he was released from a local hospital after complaining of a fast, irregular heartbeat.
That bodes well for his availabilty for the Ravens game, given Allen said he didn’t expect Bryant back this soon.
— Defensive tackle Richard Seymour and cornerback Shawntae Spencer are not practicing today. Seymour has missed several practices in recent weeks, likely because of his chronic knee.
Spencer was slated to hit the field Tuesday as a means of gauging how far his recovery has progressed from a foot injury he suffered Sept. 16.
Allen should provide an update on how things went during Spencer’s workout when we convene with Allen.
— Linebacker Aaron Curry is practicing today for the first time this season as a member of Oakland’s 53-man roster. He was activated Tuesday.
Curry missed some of the offseason workouts, all of training camp and the first eight games while rehabilitating his sore knees.
It remains to be seen how the Raiders intend to use Curry the second half of the season. Best guess is, he will play some on special teams and be a situational player on defense as long as the three starters are healthy.
Curry also could give the Raiders the flexibility to use the 3-4 more than they did the first half of the season. He is versatile enough to play inside, alongside Rolando McClain, in the 3-4, with Miles Burris and Philip Wheeler on the outside.
— No further word yet on whether Allen intends to stick with Willie Smith at right offensive tackle, go back to original starter Khalif Barnes or try rookie Tony Bergstrom.
Barnes returned to practice today after missing most of the past two months with a groin injury that required surgery.
Certain things that take place at practice we aren’t allowed to report upon. Who is taking reps at right offensive tackle right now is one of thoes things.
So, we’ll have to wait and see what Allen says about what’s going on at practice right now.