Sixth-round pick Cory James stepped in with the Raiders starters on Monday when Ben Heeney went out. He’s coming off an impressive showing in his NFL debut on Friday that included five tackles.
“He’s picking up our scheme very well,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy that’s going to be productive. He flies around. He gets around the football. We’ve been happy with him this entire spring and he had a good showing in his first outing.”
James came in expecting to make most of his noise on special teams, but is showing enough early on that he could earn some defensive snaps — especially if Heeney misses even a little time.
“It was my first game so I made a lot of rookie mistakes,” James said of his debut, “but I also made a lot of good plays so I’m happy about that.”
Fellow linebacker Korey Toomer also was solid in Friday’s win, notching a team-high seven tackles. He also forced a fumble on special teams.
While he’s a willing core special teams player, Toomer is hoping to show he can also contribute on defense.
“That’s definitely what I’m out here trying to do,” Toomer said. “I want to show them that whatever they need me on — special teams, defense — I’m that guy that’s able to do it. I pride myself on being athletic and that’s what these coaches want to see.”
* With Mario Edwards Jr. out, Denico Autry took his first-team repetitions and should handle the starting role until he returns. Autry missed the offseason program and the start of camp with a wrist injury and played Friday with a cast on the right hand.
“He looked a little rusty the other night,” Del Rio said. “He’s got some work to do and he knows that. He’s a high-energy guy. He was with us last year so we kind of know what we can count on from him.”
* No. 2 quarterback Matt McGloin dropped a perfect pass into the hands of Andre Holmes for a touchdown in 7-on-7 work over safety Brynden Trawick. Derek Carr also connected on a 40-yard touchdown to Seth Roberts over the coverage of Tramain Jacobs.
In full team drills, McGloin had a pass intercepted by DJ Hayden that was returned for a touchdown. Rookie safety Karl Joseph added an interception when he picked off a Carr pass that was deflected at the line of scrimmage by fellow rookie Jihad Ward.
* Linebacker Neiron Ball sat out Monday’s practice along with running back Jalen Richard, who reportedly has a knee injury. Richard did some work in the weight room adjacent to the practice fields. Safety Jimmy Hall returned to practice after missing all of last week.
* The Raiders waived offensive lineman Torian White, who played 18 snaps on Friday. That leaves them with an open roster spot.