Photo by Bob Carr
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 4, 2013
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen had anticipated having his team practice in pads on Sunday but decided against it due to the ever-growing injury list.
“The anticipation was to be in pads today, but with the injury situation the way it is, we had seven defensive linemen that couldn’t practice today,” Allen said. “It’s hard to get multiple groups of a defensive front out there when you only have seven guys that are able to go. We took the pads off, we slowed the tempo down there at the end in hopes that we can keep some of these guys who have to take extra reps as fresh as we can.”
Included on Sunday’s list of non-participants was offensive lineman Mike Brisiel, wide receiver Josh Cribbs, cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter. But Allen stated that the injuries were minor and all were believed to be back soon.
“Sio Moore, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, we held them out,” Allen stated. “Again, none of those are major injuries. Obviously they’re part of camp, part of things you have to deal with, so hopefully we’ll get those guys back sooner rather than later. We held out [Josh] Cribbs and Mike Brisiel.”
With Brisiel out, Allen pushed starting right tackle Khalif Barnes into the right guard position with Alex Barron stepping into the starting right tackle spot.
Allen says the move is all part of the evaluation process that takes place during training camp.
“The guy is a big, powerful man, and he’s played guard before,” Allen said of Barnes. “I mean it’s not like it’s a totally new position to him. Putting him in there, giving him a look, at the end of the day, we’re trying to find out what’s the best combination of five guys to put out on the field that’s going to give our offense the best chance for success.”
Taiwan Jones, who converted to cornerback in the offseason, has benefited from the time missed by fellow cornerbacks ahead of him in the depth chart. Jones had another solid practice defending passes on multiple occasions.
Jones attributes his recent play in the defensive backfield to his quick reactions.
“On defense it’s all about reacting and that’s one thing I’m pretty good at,” Jones said following Sunday’s practice. “It’s coming pretty easy… I’ve still got a lot of work to do though.”
It’s not often that a player makes such a drastic switch after entering the NFL, but Jones is accepting of the challenge and is having fun with it.
“It’s coming pretty good and I’ve been having fun and that’s what’s important,” Jones said. “The guys have welcomed me and I’m learning a lot from everybody so it’s been fun.”
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was on the field again after missing time with an undisclosed injury. Ford made his presence on the field felt by catching virtually anything that was thrown his way. The Raiders will certainly need Ford to be healthy as they need production from their wide receiving corps.
The Raiders will need to get some players back quickly as they head into their first game on Friday, hosting the Dallas Cowboys.
The Raiders return to the practice field on Monday at 2:50 p.m.