By Steve Corkran
Thursday, December 20th, 2012 at 11:56 am in Oakland Raiders.
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour and strong safety Tyvon Branch aren’t at practice today for the second straight day. All in all, the Raiders still are relatively healthy for a team about to play its 15th regular-season game.
It’s doubtful that Seymour will play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, given he has missed the past six games and his injured hamstring isn’t healed enough for him to practice.
Branch’s situation is another matter. He played last Sunday despite missing most of practice leading up to the Kansas City Chiefs game.
It’s likely that things will play out the same this Sunday, with Seymour inactive and Branch playing at less than 100 percent.
– As for playing time Sunday, coach Dennis Allen said he doesn’t expect any lineup changes or the playing time to be much different than it was for the Chiefs game.
“No, it’s going to be pretty similar to what we did last week,” Allen said. “Still getting an opportunity to look at a few guys.”
That doesn’t bode well for quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor, running back Taiwan Jones and backup tight ends Richard Gordon and David Ausberry, guys that played sparingly against the Chiefs.
Pryor got on the field for four plays. Well, three plays if you don’t count the false-start penalty to begin his one drive. Pryor handed off twice and then missed wide on a pass for wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on third down.
– The Raiders get one final shot at winning a game played in the Eastern Standard Time zone this Sunday, when they travel to Charlotte, N.C.
So far, they are 0-4 this season in such games, with losses at Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore and Cincinnati. In 2011, they went 0-2, with losses in Buffalo and Miami. In 2010, they lost both times on the east coast, against Pittsburgh and Miami.
The streak stands at nine straight losses, dating to Dec. 6, 2009, when the Raiders beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh behind a stellar game from quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and wide receiver Louis Murphy.
Since Dec. 15, 2002, the Raiders are 5-26 in games played back east.