By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, October 31st, 2013 at 12:16 pm in Oakland Raiders.
As the media window closed Thursday, still no sign of tackle Tony Pashos, or center-guard Andre Gurode, as well as strong safety Tyvon Branch.
Coach Dennis Allen said this week he didn’t consider Pashos or Gurode to be long-term injuries, but wasn’t sure when they’d be back at practice. Branch’s situation has been kept secret from the start. It’s been reported he fractured an ankle in Week 2 but the club never confirmed it.
Branch has been off crutches recently but hasn’t been spotted working with the training staff.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer made his first appearance working on the side with a trainer Thursday. Allen said Wednesday Veldheer’s rehab would “ramp up” following his visit with a doctor Monday.
Allen said Veldheer is on schedule for what he thought would be a three-month recovery from surgery, which would put his return at later this month.
With Menelik Watson also practicing, and Pashos and Gurode expected to return, the Raiders by their standards could have an abundance of healthy bodies along the offensive line at some point this month.
At that point, the Raiders would need to determine if Khalif Barnes reclaims his spot at right tackle even if Pashos is available. Gurode would compete with Lucas Nix at left guard. Right tackle Matt McCants has been a pleasant surprise in his three starts and gained valuable experience.