By Steve Corkran
Friday, December 21st, 2012 at 1:17 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour won’t play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. It’s possible that he has played his final game of the 2012 season, but he still has a desire to play beyond this season.
Seymour said Friday that the high hamstring injury he suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 4 has caused a lot of frustration and disappointment because he isn’t able to help on the field.
“I definitely wanted to gut it out,” Seymour said, “but it isn’t a situation where you can, you can’t gut a hamstring out. It isn’t like you can tape a shoulder up or tape an elbow, or one of those deals. A hamstring, it ain’t like you can say, OK. It’s totally different from that standpoint.
“But one of the most disappointing things for me is, being a team leader and not being out there with my teammates. That’s the most disappointing part because I bleed silver and black.”
Along those lines, Seymour was asked if he wants to re-sign with the Raiders after this season. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season and free to negotiate with any of the league’s 32 teams.
“In terms of my future, we’re still in the season and, I guess, when that time comes, we’ll cross that bridge then,” Seymour said. “Like I said, I bleed silver and black. From that standpoint, we’ll see what happens when that time comes. For now, I’ll continue to lead and support my teammates.”
Seymour is in his 12th NFL season. In his prime, he commanded double-teams and oftentimes dominated at the line of scrimmage, freeing up teammates in one-on-one situations and making those around him better.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie had the option of cutting Seymour this past offseason and sending him on his way with $7.5 million guaranteed. Instead, McKenzie and Seymour worked out a restructured contract that kept Seymour in the mix.
Now, McKenzie has tape of the eight games Seymour played, as well as that from Seymour’s first 11 seasons, to gauge whether it’s worth bringing back Seymour.
Seymour is convinced that he still has the ability to play at a high level.
“When healthy, I still play at an elite level,” Seymour said. “That’s one of the things that, the film speaks for itself.”
– Allen said Phillip Adams is healthy and ready to go for Sunday’s game. That means Adams will start at cornerback and also return punts.
Adams suffered his second concussion of the season last Sunday. Yet, he passed all the league-mandated tests for players that suffer concussions and has been cleared to play.
– The Raiders have 25 players that are potential free agents after this season. Seventeen of those are unrestricted free agents, meaning they can sign anywhere they please, short of the Raiders placing the franchise tag on one of them.
Allen said he and his coaching staff are paying close attention to how their players perform down the stretch, at a time when some players are prone to going through the motions, given the playoffs no longer are part of the equation.
“Oh, yeah, we’re looking at that,” Allen said. “That’s part of the evaluation process. I’ve already stated that, we’ve got to look at guys as we move forward to see what we’re going to do in the future and, obviously, we’ve got two more games to get an opportunity to look at them.”
Beyond that, Allen said, he expects the same kind of effort from his players every game, regardless the situation.
“My hope is that they’re playing football because they love playing the game of football, and they enjoy doing what they do for a living, and that’s just who they are,” Allen said. “They’re not playing necessarily for contracts, they’re playing because that’s what’s deep down inside their soul. That’s what I see, but I can’t speak for everybody.”
– Strong safety Tyvon Branch is at less than 100 percent heading into the Panthers game. A pain-killing shot helped him make it through the Chiefs game last Sunday.
Allen said he expects Branch to play this Sunday, just knowing how tough and dedicated Branch has been all season.
“He had to take a shot to help him make it through the game,” Allen said, “and anytime you do that, you’re a little more sore when you come back. He’s a warrior, though. He’s a battler. He’s a fighter. He’s going to be out there if he can.”