Raiders minicamp Day 1: Malcolm Smith returns, Carr and Cooper hook up, backup QBs rotate reps

Derek Carr had a strong first day of Raiders minicamp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Derek Carr had a strong first day of Raiders minicamp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Along with defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr., Tuesday’s first day of the Raiders minicamp also marked the return of linebacker Malcolm Smith. An undisclosed injury had kept him from participating in team drills during OTAs.

“Good to get out there and starting to get more guys healthy and able to join us today, which is good to see,” coach Jack Del Rio said.

Safety Reggie Nelson has still yet to see the field for the Raiders, although the team says he has been on site at the facility. Running back Roy Helu Jr., who had offseason hip surgery, and defensive lineman Denico Autry, also were not at practice.

Safety Karl Joseph, the team’s first-round pick who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, worked out with a trainer on a side field along with linebacker Neiron Ball (knee injury suffered in 2015) and cornerback Neiko Thorpe.

Tight end Clive Walford, who injured his knee in an offseason ATV accident, was on the field but did not participate. He’s expected back for training camp.

— The first minicamp practice featured an increased level of team drills from the recent OTA sessions.

Quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper hooked up several times on some deep passes, including a touchdown toward the end of the session.

Linebacker Ben Heeney had an interception off a deflection to serve as one of the defensive highlights. Khalil Mack also exploded into the backfield on one play and batted down a Carr pass attempt.

— Fourth-round pick Connor Cook rotated second-team repetitions with incumbent backup quarterback Matt McGloin, but Del Rio advised against reading too much into that.

“We’re working our guys in a lot of different combinations this time of year and making sure we give guys exposure,” Del Rio said. “Obviously, all the quarterbacks need to work and be in different situations.”


Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.