Raiders mining for roster depth

Raiders mining for roster depth
September 19, 2012, 7:36 am

ALAMEDA -- With both of their starting cornerbacks out injured for the foreseeable future -- Ron Bartell's broken shoulder blade has him on the new reserveinjured list that allows him to return later in the season and Shawntae Spencer sprained his right foot Sunday at Miami -- the Raiders have serious depth issues in the secondary.As such, Oakland reportedly played host Tuesday to a foursome of cornerbacks in Darius Butler, who has played for New England and Carolina, Cletis Gordon, who's been with San Diego, Dallas and Carolina, Antwaun Molden, who's played for Houston and New England, and Kevin Thomas, who played with Indianapolis last season.Plus, Chimdi Chekwa is still on the Raiders' practice squad and there are again rumblings that free safety Michael Huff could move to cornerback.Also, with right tackle Khalif Barnes out for a while with a groin injury, the Raiders took a look at former Minnesota tackle Patrick Brown, even as Willie Smith replaced Barnes in Miami and second-year tackle Joseph Barksdale is still on the roster, though he was inactive for Oakland's first two games.Perhaps most intriguing, though, was Oakland bringing back sack-happy defensive end Andre Carter for a second workout. He was in Napa on Aug. 21 but the Raiders, as well as the rest of the league, took a pass at the time. He is still trying to return from a torn left quadriceps suffered with New England last year, when he had 10 sacks in 14 games.The Raiders only have two sacks through two games -- and no takeaways -- and seem to be missing the edge-rusher that was Kamerion Wimbley, who had a total of 16 sacks in Oakland the previous two seasons but was cut in a cost-saving move.Besides, a more successful pass rush would help the Raiders' secondary, which, as noted above, is depleted and looking for new members.Against the Dolphins, Joselio Hanson gave up five receptions the six times he was targeted for 58 yards, Pat Lee surrendered four of six for 56 yards, Huff three of four for 40 yards and middle linebacker Rolando McClain two of three for 19 yards and a touchdown.A roster spot was cleared Tuesday when long snapper Nick Guess was waived.