Raiders fullback Marcel Reece was on the practice field Wedensday, most likely on a limited basis, as he works through what he termed a “foot issue” in an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
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Never has monotony been more welcome than on the Raiders offensive line.
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If the Raiders first-team offense were a transit system, there would be thousands of dissatisfied commuters.
Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden was moving laterally and doing some cutting with the athletic training staff Monday, the most he’s done physically while in the presence of the media since training camp began.
Having covered Charles Woodson since he was drafted in 1998 until his career resurrection in Green Bay in 2006 and his return last year, I’ve come to a couple of realizations:
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Brian Leonhardt has come so far he is finally on a first-name basis with offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
The Raiders announced the signing of tight end Kyle Auffray Sunday, a move first reported by the National Football Post two days ago.
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After getting shredded by starting quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Matt Stafford, the Raiders will have to work out their problems on pass defense against Aaron Rodgers.
Before long, few are going to remember that the Raiders beat the Detroit Lions in an exhibition game at the Coliseum on Friday night. How well rookie quarterback Derek Carr played is going to linger.
Carr played well enough during extended action to stoke the flames about whether he or Matt Schaub is the better option to be the Raiders starting quarterback this season.
“He was better this game,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Carr, the team’s second-round draft pick in May. “He made some improvement. … Overall, he took a step forward.”
Health-wise, Carr took a step backward when he suffered a concussion and a rib injury in the fourth quarter of his second NFL game. Lions defensive end Larry Webster landed on Carr with all his weight, and Carr pointed to his midsection when he picked himself up off the ground.
Allen said the concussion was the reason Carr got removed from the game. There is no word on the severity of Carr’s concussion or whether he broke any ribs.
It’s interesting to note that Carr played the entire 2012 season at Fresno State with a sports hernia.
Carr was at his locker after the game, but he wasn’t permitted to speak with the media because of his concussion.
“Carr’s looking real good,” wide receiver Brice Butler said. “He’s coming into his own. This was his first game at home. I know he wanted to go out there and do his thing, and he did.”
Carr completed 9 of 16 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring drive, he completed all six of his passes for 76 yards.
Projected starter Schaub’s four drives yielded one touchdown. That came after a Lions penalty on a field-goal attempt kept alive a stalled drive. He looked sharp on his first drive, which ended when his pass into tight coverage got tipped into the air and intercepted.
“Overall, he did well,” Allen said of Schaub. “The touchdown drive he took us down there on was a heck of a drive.”
Last Saturday, Allen said he wasn’t inclined to give Carr any playing time with the first-team offense.
Against the Lions, Allen changed his mind early in the second quarter.
“No, I wasn’t surprised,” Schaub said of the move. “He did well. He stepped in and made some plays.”
Last season, the Raiders put their weight behind Matt Flynn as the presumptive starter. Terrelle Pryor beat out Flynn during training camp, and Flynn got cut early in the season.
Ultimately, undrafted rookie Matt McGloin supplanted Pryor as the starter. On Friday night, McGloin replaced Carr once he got injured and guided the Raiders to a game-deciding touchdown with six seconds left.
Allen said Carr was slated to come out of the game after he finished the drive on which he got injured.
Now it’s unknown how long Carr will be sidelined. However, once he returns it’s a certainty that the debate is going to kick into high gear.
In other news, running back Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a finger injury, safety Tyvon Branch hurt an ankle and offensive tackle Matt McCants and tight end Scott Simonson suffered concussions.
Rookie Khalil Mack recorded two sacks, including one sack — against Lions No. 3 quarterback Kellen Moore. Yet, Allen isn’t too concerned.
“There wasn’t a lot of production from the standpoint of (tackles), … but Khalil Mack is going to be just fine,” Allen said.
Allen said that Andre Holmes didn’t play much until the second half because he wanted to take a look at James Jones and Denarius Moore with the starting offense.
The Raiders turned a lopsided affair into a nice little comeback, with a rally by their second- and third-team offense against the Detroit Lions backups. It all added up to a 27-26, come-from-behind victory that third-string quarterback Matt McGloin capped with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler.
Derek Carr got the Raiders within 23-17 in the third quarter. A TJ Carrie 50-yard punt return set up a Raiders drive that ended with a Sebastian Janikowski 36-yard field goal.
The Lions answered with a field goal of their own. Rather than give McGloin — last year’s primary backup and part-time starter — or Trent Edwards some snaps, coach Dennis Allen left Carr in the game with the Raiders down 26-20.
The move backfired when Carr got tackled and landed upon by Lions defensive end Larry Webster as Carr rolled right. Carr stayed down for a bit, then got to his feet and pointed to his midsection.
McGloin replaced Carr at that point, with Carr being taken into the locker room. Colleague Jimmy Durkin pointed out that Carr played all of the 2012 season at Fresno State with a sports hernia injury.
Either way, it’s pause for concern.
Sports Illustrated’s Austin Murphy was in the bowels of the stadium when Carr departed. He Tweeted that Carr said to team doctors: “I just heard a crucnch. I don’t know if my rib’s broken. But it hurts.”
Allen might provide an update after the game, though it’s more likely that the extent of Carr’s injury won’t be known until much later, given Carr needs to undergo X-rays.
The prospect of losing Carr to a rib injury puts a damper on an already mixed-bag night. But at least the Raiders can take solace in walking off the field with the taste of victory, regardless the cost or how much of it owed to the Lions starters taking three fourths of the night off.