By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 5:55 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Rookie cornerback DJ Hayden missed practice Thursday with a groin strain and is no lock to play for the Raiders against the New York Giants.
Allen said Hayden was injured during Wednesday’s practice but he didn’t find out about until after he was done talking with the media.
“We’ll have to evaluate him and see how he’s doing and see how quickly that thing responds,’’ Allen said.
The Raiders play the Giants Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Hayden said Wednesday he was looking forward to getting back on the field after giving up three passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in coverage in a 49-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Raiders’ nickel cornerback, Hayden plays on the outside with Tracy Porter moving into the slot when opponents use three receivers. The Giants have three wide receiver sets featuring Hakeen Nicks, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle.
If Hayden can’t play, Phillip Adams will be the nickel corner. Adams has two interceptions for the Raiders last season when pressed into action because of injuries.
“We’ve got all the confidence in the world in P.A.,’’ Allen said. “When he came in last year and had an opportunity to play, he played real well. That’ bee an easy transition for us.’’
– Running back Rashad Jennings is uninterested in re-living his first 100-yard game since 2010 given the end result.
Jennings subbed for Darren McFadden in the second quarter and had positive yardage on each of his 15 carries, finishing with 102 yards. He’ll likely be the feature back against the Giants as McFadden missed his second day of practice with a hamstring strain.
“It felt like it was supposed to,’’ Jennings said. “Like I always tell you guys _ you’re called to duty, you go make plays. Regardless of that, the outcome was we lost. (We) didn’t do enough. However you slice it or dice it, we go out there to play games to win.’’
Jennings has remained consistent with that theme since he arrived at training camp. He repeated it during a community outing Tuesday to students.
“One thing I left them was, when I was in high school, I always kept a quote, `When opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it,’ ‘’ Jennings said. “So every day, be prepared to be that guy.’’
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor said“We saw Rashad make a lot of guys miss and run over a lot of guys,’’ Jennings said. “We’er definitely going to miss Darren because he may miss the game, but I have a lot of trust in Jennings and I believe he can get the job done.’’
Jennings has been a mainstay on special teams, blocking a pair of punts as well as recovering an onside kick to seal the win over Pittsburgh.
– Getting the ball Marcel Reece has been a weekly topic, with everyone from general manager Reggie McKenzie to Allen to offensive coordinator Greg Olson at one time or another conceding their Pro Bowl fullback has been underutilized.
Through eight games, Pryor 13 carries for 57 yards and 12 receptions for 108 yards _ 25 touches for 165 yards and one touchdown.
Last season, Reece had 59 carries for 271yards and 52 receptions for 496 yards on 16 games. _ more than double the work load on a per game basis.
Pryor said part of the reason is opponents are guarding Reece with a cornerback.
“A corner on Marcel, not to say he can’t do it, but it’s very tough,’’ Pryor said. “Marcel is a great match-up versus a linebaqcker or a safety and we’re not really getting a lot of those looks.’’
– Aside from Hayden and McFadden, those who didn’t practice Thursday were wide receiver Juron Criner (shoulder), safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (ribs), tackle Matt McCants (toe), and tackle Tony Pashos (hip).
Sebastian Janikowski (ribs) was limited, got in some kicking and will play. Guard-center Andre Gurode (knee) was limited and Allen isn’t sure if he’ll reclaim his left guard spot from Lucas Nix.