By Steve Corkran
Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 11:53 am in Oakland Raiders.
As expected, running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, as well as defensive tackle Richard Seymour, are not practicing today. That makes it more likely that they won’t be available for the Baltimore Ravens game.
Coach Dennis Allen has not rueld out any of the aforementioned trio. He said he won’t make any definitive statements along those lines until Friday, at the earliest.
Still, this has the look of second-year running back Taiwan Jones getting his first extensive action since he arrived via the NFL draft last season.
Jones has touched the ball on offense two times this season. He was part of a botched reverse in the regular-season opener on a play that resulted in a 25-yard loss after fullback Marcel Reece’s pitch was mishandled by Jones. In fairness, Reece’s exhange wasn’t very smooth.
Jones rushed once for 2 yards late in the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. Beyond that, Jones returned one kick for 6 yards against the Chargers in the opener and caught a pass for 4 yards on a fake punt against the Buccaneers.
Jones rushed for 73 yards on 16 carries last season, when he was behind McFadden and Michael Bush.
– Linebaacker Aaron Curry and cornerback Ron Bartell look at full strength in practice today. Curry was activated to the 53-man roster Tuesday. Bartell can be activated Saturday.
As for now, it appears as if Bartell will be activated and play Sunday. He missed the past seven games while recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the opener.
It looks as if Bartell will play right cornerback, with Michael Huff remaining at the left cornerbacak spot. If so, Joselio Hanson likely will remain in the slot on passing downs, with Pat Lee and Phillip Adams seeing reduced snaps.
Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is the only other player unable to practice today. Therefore, it looks as if he is in line to miss his seventh straight game. He hurt his foot against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 16 and hasn’t practiced or played in a game since that day.
– Allen still hasn’t tipped his hand on whether he intends to start Willie Smith, Khalif Barnes or rookie Tony Bergstrom at right offensive tackle Sunday.
Smith has started the past six games there in relief of the injured Barnes. However, Barnes returned to practice Wednesday, and he looks ready to go.