The Raiders are getting into their regular-season mode three days before training camp ends.
They began preparations for the Chicago Bears Monday as they would if it were a regular season game. Practice started at 11:15, concluded after two hours and players had a post-practice lunch and meetings schedule as if it were September.
“We’re trying to get into the rhythm and flow of what we’ll do in the regular season and get guys to begin to get into their routine,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
– Defensive tackle Vance Walker, out with an undisclosed injury, was back at practiced but being eased in, Allen said. Same goes for wide receiver Jacoby Ford, whose strained hamstring withstood a strong workout the previous day and was cleared to practice.
– Cornerback D.J. Hayden practiced in pads for the first time. He didn’t deliver or take any big blows, but Hayden did intercept a pass in seven-on-seven drills.
“It felt like a normal practice for me, and it’s good to feel normal again,’’ Hayden said.
Hayden will start against Chicago, but Allen isn’t sure how long he’ll play.
“I haven’t put a number on it yet,” Allen said. “I anticipate him going out there and starting the game and we’ll see how he is from a football shape standpoint and see what he can do.”
Hayden will have a chance to get physical against the Bears, especially if lined up against Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
– The Raiders are holding fort for now with left tackle Alex Barron, right tackle Khalif Barnes and reserve Willie Smith for now, with Tony Bergstrom also getting time at tackle after being a guard for the better part of last season and through training camp this season.
Allen said it’s conceivable that rookie Menelik Watson, when sufficiently recovered from a calf injury that has kept him out for all but a few drills on a single day of camp, will get a shot at left tackle when he returns. Watson has just 19 games of football experience at Saddleback College and Florida State.
– If the Raiders game is blacked out against Chicago, it will be shown on tape-delay on KICU (Channel 36) locally at 10 p.m. If it is sold out, the game will be on live on KTVU (Channel 2). The NFL Network has an 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot for the game, but it would be blacked out in the Raiders local area.
– Right guard Mike Brisiel, recovering from a knee injury, went through warmups and drills but did not participate in team sessions. Wide receiver Juron Criner remains out with an undisclosed injury, as does running back Latavius Murray.
– The Raiders practice Tuesday and Wednesday in Napa, breaking camp after the Wednesday practice.
– Raiders Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown will meet with veterans Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the California Veteran’s Home in Yountville.