By Steve Corkran
Friday, November 9th, 2012 at 11:21 am in Oakland Raiders.
Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson and defensive tackle Richard Seymour are among the four players not practicing today. Given that, it seems highly unlikely that any of the three will play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen will provide official word on the status of those players within an hour or so. At that time, I will post an update.
Allen also is expected to announce who will start at right offensive tackle — Willie Smith, Khalif Barnes or Tony Bergstrom.
At this point, it appears as if it will be Smith for a seventh straight game. Playing Bergstrom for the first time, on the road, against an active Ravens defense isn’t the best way to ease a rookie into the NFL.
It makes more sense for Allen to wait until the Raiders return to the Coliseum for a game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 18 if he intends to make the switch to Bergstrom.
It’s also possible that Barnes will reclaim his starting spot for that game after having a second full week to get back into shape after being out for seven weeks with a groin injury that required surgery.
Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is the only other player not at practice today. He almost certainly will be ruled out for Sunday’s game. He has missed the past six games with a foot injury.
With McFadden and Goodson unlikely to play Sunday, it’s time for second-year player Taiwan Jones to show what he can do in a regular-season game.
Jones and fullback Marcel Reece split the reps at running back in practice this week. The only other option available to Allen this late in the process is to sign rookie running back Jeremy Stewart from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.