The Raiders wrapped their offseason program Thursday happy and, more importantly, healthy.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he expects to have his entire roster available when training camp begins in Napa in six weeks.
“I think we feel good about the whole team coming into camp being ready to work,” Del Rio said. “Obviously, we’ll see when we get there, but that’s the anticipation, that we’d have a healthy team going into camp.”
The Raiders got through this week’s three-day mandatory minicamp with only seven players among the 90-man active roster unable to see any action. Only one player, cornerback DJ Hayden, suffered an injury during the three days of practice that caused him to miss a day. He sat out Thursday with what Del Rio termed “a little tweak.”
First-round pick Karl Joseph was one of the seven to not participate, although in his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he’s graduated to working out on the side and absorbing some of the team reps from the sidelines.
“We’ve made the most of the situation,” Del Rio said of Joseph, a safety from West Virginia. “Ideally, he’s doing everything. Short of that, what we can do is we can do the walkthroughs, we can do the meetings, we can spend extra time with him. So those are things that we’ve been doing and we’ll continue to do.”
Beyond Joseph, the Raiders are still awaiting the return of linebacker Neiron Ball, whose knee injury from Week 7 of last season was originally supposed to sideline him only about six weeks.
Tight end Clive Walford (knee), running back Roy Helu Jr. (hips), safety Reggie Nelson (undisclosed), defensive lineman Denico Autry (undisclosed) and cornerback Neiko Thorpe (undisclosed) are the others who were out but expected to be on the field in July.
Beyond staying healthy, Del Rio feels the team’s leadership has been more readily established during the offseason as the Raiders look to replace the voices of the retired Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck.
“I think the veterans have done a great job of stepping up with that leadership part,” Del Rio said. “It’s one of the questions we had coming into this offseason, right? Who is going to replace C-Wood? Who is going to replace Justin Tuck? We had guys stepping forward.
“Khalil Mack and Derek (Carr), obviously, two guys that are stepping forward, but guys like Bruce Irvin, guys like Sean Smith, Rodney (Hudson), those guys have been filling that void and doing a great job.”