By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 5th, 2013 at 8:13 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders were still short on defensive linemen Monday but padded up anyway with a day off on Tuesday.
They had two more bodies than Sunday _ defensive tackle Stacy McGee returned and newly-signed Ryan Baker was immediately put into the mix.
Other players that returned included left guard Lucas Nix, who opened with the first team before giving way to Tony Bergstrom and linebacker Sio Moore. Return specialist Josh Cribbs, who tweeted he would probably be sitting out the Cowboys game in favor of younger players, got back into the mix late in practice after sitting out Monday.
Cornerback D.J. Hayden left briefly with a hamstring strain but later returned. Hayden is still wearing a red no-contact jersey, however, and was one of the players Allen ruled out of Friday’s game against Dallas.
“We’ll see where he’s at when we come back to work on Wednesday. The players are off tomorrow for the mandatory day off, so we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday. DJ won’t play in the game against Dallas, and then we’ll kind of re-evaluate where we’re at with him after that,” Allen said.
Allen said Hayden being out is related to the offseason abdominal surgery for removing scar tissue and not the November surgery for repairing a torn blood vessel to his heart.
Others who won’t play include linebacker Kaluka Maiava, injured on one of the first days of practice and who was originally on crutches, as well as linebacker Miles Burris. Offensive tackle Menelik Watson could be added to that list, but Allen wouldn’t rule out defensive tackle Pat Sims until getting more information Wednesday. Sims has yet to take part in a training camp practice.
– Running back Jeremy Stewart came up with the catch of the day with a one-handed grab for a touchdown on a circle route from quarterback Matt Flynn. Denarius Moore, by contrast, had trouble holding on to the ball, with David Ausberry and Andre Holmes having some issues with drops as well.
– McGee looked fast and strong in getting the better of starting center Stefen Wisniewski in one-on-one blocking drills.
– Punter Chris Kluwe showed a nice touch kicking directionally to the corner near the end zone, as well as hitting balls with backspin which landed inside the 5-yard line.
– With Mike Jenkins and Terry Porter out for the second straight day, Chimdi Chekwa again worked with the first team. And Allen likes what he’s seen so far.
“I think Chimdi’s probably one of the most improved players on our team right now,” Allen said. “I think he’s had a nice camp. He’s done a nice job for us. He’s earned the right to be in the mix, and [we’re] anxious to see him go out in preseason games and see where he’s at.”
Another player who is moving up the ladder _ seventh-round draft pick Brice Butler.
“Brice Butler is a guy that for a seventh-round draft choice has stepped up and shown me some things,” Allen said.
– Allen said he would begin talking about a rotation for the Dallas game Wednesday with the players off. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, Allen said, would call plays from the sideline, rather than the press box.
– Players from local high schools Napa, Vintage and American Canyon were invited guests of the Raiders along with their coaching staffs. They were given a pre-practice talk by former Raiders Sam Williams and Tony Stewart.
Former Raiders running back Justin Fargas was a practice guest.