ALAMEDA – Perhaps overlooked in the Raiders win over the San Diego Chargers was the play of their offensive line.
Sure, Terrelle Pryor got sacked four times, the Raiders averaged only 4 yards rushing – minus two end-of-game kneel-downs – and the linemen committed a few penalties. But that becomes less conspicuous when one takes into account that only two projected starters played at their respective positions.
“That’s a tribute to those offensive linemen, the way that they prepare, throughout the week,” coach Dennis Allen said. “That’s a tribute to the coaching staff, (line coach) Tony Sparano and the way he works with those guys, Those guys did a great job.”
Guards Lucas Nix and Mike Brisiel were in their natural spots Monday night. Everything else was out of whack, for one reason or other.
Regular right tackle Khalif Barnes played in place of injured left tackle Jared Veldheer, as he has all season. Andre Gurode replaced injured center Stefen Wisniewski and Matt McCants made his first-ever NFL start in place of injured Tony Pashos at right tackle.
Barnes said the seamless transition to the many moves speaks to the depth and experience of the Raiders offensive line corps.
“It’s fortunate that we have a lot of versatility in this group,” Barnes said. “We can just plug guys in. They’re interchangeable. We’re very lucky and blessed to have guys that can play multiple positions and on both sides.”
— The Raiders activated wide receiver Andre Holmes to their 53-man roster Monday, one week after he returned from a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Raiders had a one-week exemption before being forced to decide whether to activate, trade or release Holmes. He takes the roster spot created by the release of quarterback Matt Flynn.
— Veteran quarterback David Carr worked out for the Raiders on Monday. The release of offensive lineman Jack Cornell freed up another roster spot for the Raiders to sign Carr or another player between now and their game against the Chiefs.
It’s also conceivable that the Raiders will promote rookie Tyler Wilson from the practice squad to give them a third quarterback on the active roster, Allen said.
— Quote of the day: “I told him during the game, ‘He’s had enough. You don’t have to give it to him.’ ” – Allen on what he said to safety Brandian Ross after Ross failed to secure a Chargers fumble that teammate Charles Woodson turned into a 25-yard return for touchdown.
— Allen said that the hamstring injury suffered by running back Rashad Jennings in the first half against the Chargers doesn’t appear to be too serious.
Jennings rushed 10 times in the first half, but he gave way to Marcel Reece in the second half. Allen said he expects Jennings and regular starter Darren McFadden (hamstring) back sooner rather than later.
Jennings said he wanted to keep playing. Allen and the other coaches removed Jennings as a precautionary measure. Jennings said he intends to play against the Chiefs on Sunday.
— Terrelle Pryor’s 135.7 passer rating against the Chargers marked the highest-rated game by a Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon’s 138.9 rating against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 29, 2002.