McClain's arrest -- Raiders' depth chart

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McClain's arrest -- Raiders' depth chart

First things first -- it is not clear whether Rolando McClain will face a suspension for his role in a shooting incident that resulted in him being arrested and charged with third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in city limits.But if precedent serves -- think the New York Giants suspending Plaxico Burress for four games -- and if the disturbing police report is correct that Wednesday McClain fired a shot past the ear of a beaten and prone man in Decatur, Ala., the Raiders will slap their middle linebacker with a suspension. It could be a season-turner for a team which has seemingly turned a corner in sitting in first place in the AFC West at 7-4.RELATED: McClain arrested for firing gun, assault, two other chargesBecause while McClain has been anything but the defensive game-changer the Raiders envisioned when they drafted him with the No. 8 overall pick in 2010, it's painfully obvious when he's not on the field. The performance gap has been evident on several occasions this season as he's battled a badly sprained left ankle that he re-tweaked Sunday against Chicago.McClain, who has 57 tackles, second-most on the team, and two sacks, initially injured himself against Houston on Oct. 9 and, while he was active against Denver on Nov. 6, he did not play. The Broncos gouged the Raiders' invisible run defense for 299 rushing yards, 230 in the second half, as Oakland fell to Tim Tebow and Co.A year ago, the former Alabama star sat out the Raiders' key December game at Jacksonville with a sore foot -- sources said he refused to take a pain-killing shot to play -- and his absence was greatly felt. The Jaguars ran for 182 second-half yards and scored 31 second-half points. The Raiders lost.Technically, the Raiders' backup middle linebacker is Darryl Blackstock, the UFL refugee who was playfully made fun of in the locker room by a teammate earlier this season for having "big eyes" when he had to play in place of the former Butkus Award winner.Realistically, the Raiders might have to move Aaron Curry from the weak side into the middle, which might actually weaken both positions against Miami this weekend, not to mention what Oakland would then have to do sans a suspended McClain.Anyone have Lofa Tatupu's phone number?McClain, though, may have already played his last down as a member of the Raiders, if not for the season, then for his career.Burress was suspended for the rest of the 2008 season by the Giants after he accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a Manhattan night club. New York's stringent gun laws had him serving nearly two years in prison and the NFL suspended him the length of his prison sentence. He never suited up for the Giants again.
Then, there's the case of Aqib Talib, the Tampa Bay cornerback who faced no suspension for his involvement in a Texas shooting this past March.Of course, in a court of law, McClain is innocent until proven guilty. But the NFL has its own set of rules and neither the league nor McClain's agent have responded to inquiries by CSN Bay Area. The Raiders meanwhile, said they would have no comment on Thursday regarding the arrest.Earlier, though, coach Hue Jackson said he had spoken with McClain over the telephone."No question any time any of our players, I mean, I'm going to be concerned," Jackson said. "But again, until I have had an opportunity to really sit down and truly understand it all, obviously there's two sides to every story, and then I think you kind of work from there. I think the organization, myself, we've commented on it, as far as we can at this point, and we're going to leave it at that."I have had communication with the player. I feel comfortable where we are, and we'll just go from there."About an hour later, the 22-year-old was arrested.Perhaps most troubling for the Raiders, though, is that this is the second time since January McClain has been involved in a shooting in his hometown. In January, someone fired at McClain's Chevy Tahoe as he was driving and while no one was injured then, a slug was pulled from the SUV's rear hatch.While there's no link between video games and gun crime, McClain is an avid fan of the video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." In an interview published this week on ESPN.com he said "I've been addicted to "Call of Duty" since the first time I played it. ... I'm always on the move looking for someone to shoot." Whatever the case, Jackson's mantra of "Next Man Up" in case of injury may have to be imparted this weekend. And maybe, for the rest of a potential playoff season that could be turned on its head by McClain's alleged gun play actions.

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

OAKLAND – It’s impossible to say the Raiders stopped LeSean McCoy. The Buffalo Bills running back had 130 yards on just 17 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush.

He was shifty as advertised, hard to bring down especially in open space. He killed the Raiders early on, suffocating them with a steady dose of his rushing style.

They couldn’t stop him at all. Until they made some changes that put more bodies around the ball, dared the Bills to throw deep and came at McCoy in waves.

“We saw how they were trying to attack us,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “We found a way to protect ourselves and be in better position to make plays.”

It took some time to figure out, but McCoy started slowing down late in the third quarter. He had 14 carries for 127 yards until he cramped up later in the third quarter, and didn’t do much on the ground after that.

“He’s one of the best in the business,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He made life difficult for us, but we settled in and got the stops we needed to get a nice victory.”

Stopping the run was key to it. Stopping, of course, remains a relative term. Buffalo ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns and, at times didn’t need to pass to move downfield and score.

The Bills offense got bottled up in the third quarter, with three straight three-and-outs that put Buffalo into passing situations where they struggle and the Raiders pass rush can make a profound effect.

“They showed what type of team they are,” McCoy said. “They got stops when they needed stops and scored when they needed to. …I just felt like this is a game we had in our hands that we let slip away.

Carr’s pinky is fine, thank you: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was taken off the injury report after this practice week. He wasn’t questionable or doubtful after dislocating his pinky in two spots last week versus Carolina. He was going to play.

He didn’t wear a glove on his ailing digit, though he sported a splint of some sort during the game. He had his throwing hand’s pinky and ring fingers taped together in a postgame press conference – it’s that way much of the time – but insisted it caused zero issues during Sunday’s game. The Raiders played all but one snap from the shotgun and pistol, but Carr bristled at questions whether his finger limited the offense in any way.

Proof is in a 97.3 passer rating, 260 yards passing, two touchdown and no picks. He was rarely inaccurate, and played well throughout the game.

Carr had his left hand examined after a planned run, but never missed a snap and came out of the game just fine.

“It really didn’t (impact me),” Carr said. “If I missed a throw it was just because of me to be honest. They took me off the injury report for a reason. It was not affecting me at all. Just leaving it taped for precautionary, just to be safe.”

Marquette gets flagged: Raiders punt Marquette King feels so good after a punt goes well that he just has to dance. That’s why he busted out the Pee Wee Herman “Tequila” dance after pinning Buffalo at their 4-yard line.

A rusher hit him in the leg and was called for roughing the kicker, and King went a smidge too far. He picked up the flag – you can’t do that – did a jig as he waved it in the air, and then spiked it to the ground.

It was entertaining, sure. But it also drew another flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“It’s definitely a teachable moment,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s not mean spirit in what he’s doing. He’s having fun. He enjoys himself. He had the Pee Wee Herman out there today. I saw that. I got a giggle.

“He’s enjoying himself. Now, right there, he just didn’t realize you can’t do that. He was like, ‘Really? I couldn’t do that? Oh man. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mr. Ref.’ It really was innocent and obviously, we’ll make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to teaching to make sure we understand what we need to do there. That should never happen again.”

Cowser’s first sack: Undrafted free agent James Cowser is popular among his teammates. The edge rusher was well liked during his time in the preseason, and was welcomed back when signed to the practice squad near midseason.

He was added to the active roster last week, made his professional debut on special teams against Carolina and made a big impact on defense Sunday afternoon.

He sacked Tyrod Taylor for a 10-yard loss in the second quarter to help force the Bills’ first punt. It was his first as a pro, though the action is old hat for the all-time FCS leader in sacks.

It was a big moment for Cowser and those around him.

“Cowser stepped up and got a big sack at an important time,” fellow edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “We knew he could step in and play well and do some things. It’s key for us that the young guys step up.”

This ‘n that: RB Latavius Murray scored his 10th and 11th rushing touchdowns of the season on Sunday night, the largest total since Marcus Allen had 12 in 1990. That’s the fifth-highest total in franchise history. … S Karl Joseph suffered a foot/toe injury and did not return. … The Raiders have won six straight games, and haven't allowed a 100 passer rating in that stretch. …Khalil Mack has had a sack in seven straight games. Bruce Irvin has had a sack in three straight.

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.

Then this game turned upside down.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.

The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.

The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.

“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘We’re down 15 and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”

The Raiders played some of their best ball this season during that stretch.

They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.

“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”

During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.

Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.

Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.

“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hats off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”