Raiders notes: Janikowski's injury not as bad as it looked


Raiders notes: Janikowski's injury not as bad as it looked

The sight of Sebastian Janikowski hobbling off the field and being stretched out on a table behind the sidelines in the first half of Oakland's 31-20 defeat of Detroit Saturday had to send shivers down the collective spine of Raiders fans.Even if backup placekicker Eddy Carmona later drilled a 56-yard field goal and sent a kickoff sailing through the back of the end zone, SeaBass-style, in Janikowski's absence.Raiders coach Dennis Allen allayed more fears in his conference call with beat writers Sunday afternoon, saying Janikowski's injury was not as bad as it may have looked."He's got basically a sore groin," Allen said. "He's a little tight but doesn't seem to be any pull or defect in the muscle or anything like that, so I don't anticipate it being a big deal."In fact, Allen said he expected Janikowski to be ready for the season opener on Sept. 10."That would be my assumption after seeing him today," Allen said, adding that Janikowski still might kick in the Raiders' preseason finale Thursday in Seattle. "I don't really anticipate that being anything that really carries over into the regular season."In fact, the only other injury of note to emerge from the exhibition game was cornerback Pat Lee's sore back that might keep him out of practice this week but not prevent him from playing against the Seahawks.So it sounds as if Lee survived the initial round of cuts, right?Teams need to have their rosters at a maximum of 75 players by 1 p.m. PT Monday and the Raiders entered Sunday with 87 players on their roster.Undrafted free agent rookie safety Aaron Henry tweeted Sunday afternoon he had been cut.Allen, though, said the Raiders were in the process of making the cuts as he spoke to reporters and the team would not announce anything until they were finalized.Teams have to be at 53-man rosters by 3 p.m. on Friday.After watching the film of the Raiders' exhibition victory over the Lions, Allen said several players stood out to him, including defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie, a roster longshot who who batted down three passes; defensive end Lamarr Houston, who was very active on the interior in the Raiders' nickel defense; cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shantae Spencer, who shut down Calvin Johnson; and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, filling in for Richard Seymour. Offensively, Allen mentioned running back Taiwan Jones, receivers Juron Criner and Darrius Heyward-Bey and third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor."He did good," Allen said of Pryor. "He had his good plays and he had his bad plays. But the thing I was impressed with and the thing I took out of the game is there was progress."The Raiders' first four penalties -- they finished with nine for 59 yards -- were especially disheartening pre-snap flags. Legit calls, or flag-happy replacement refs?"Every single one of them was a legit call," Allen said. "Every single one of them was inexcusable especially the two where we lined up offsides on defense."Paging David Tollefson and Matt Shaghnessy.

Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick poison

Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick poison

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars tried to take Raiders receiver Amari Cooper out of Sunday’s game. Sticky corner Jalen Ramsey shadowed the second-year pro, and was effective making quarterback Derek Carr look the other way.

It wasn’t that Ramsey dominated every play. Carr simply had more favorable options available.

Michael Crabtree was the best one. He turned the Jaguars game on its ear with a touchdown catch, a third-down conversion and a massive bomb caught over his shoulder for 56 yards.

Carr targeted Crabtree 11 times in Jacksonville, with eight completions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Teams scheming against Cooper operate at their own peril this season, because that typically leaves Crabtree in a juicy matchup.

That was the case in Week 7, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Opponents also fear Crabtree, and for good reason. He has been clutch in the season’s first half, likely playing the best football of his career.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t want Crabtree to have a big day in Week 6, and put top-flight cornerback Marcus Peters – who can’t keep up with Cooper’s speed – on his trail. Crabtree was largely negated in that effort, though Cooper dominated to the tune of 10 receptions for 129 yards on 13 targets. Crabtree, by far Carr’s most frequent receiver, was only thrown to four times.

Carr’s message to future opponents from those two games: pick your poison.

“You have to always be ready for everything, and I think that our staff does an amazing job of giving me a lot of options for those instances,” Carr said at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, before Wednesday's practice. “If they’re going to take away (Cooper) this game, we have to get the other guys going. If they’re going to take ‘Crab’ away, we have to get the other guys going.

“What’s great about that (position group) is they’re all good with it. We just want to win. That’s what it comes down to, how can we push the ball down the field… I think our staff does an amazing job of filling that kind of stuff out if they’re trying to take one or the other away.”

Fluctuating target counts can be frustrating for receivers, who are often considered divas demanding the football at all times. The Raiders don’t have those personalities, a luxury quarterbacks dream about.

“We’re together, man,” Crabtree said. “We’re trying to win by any means. We know what’s at stake and I feel like we’re doing everything it takes to win.”

Sometimes, that means being unselfish. Ignoring stats can be tough for wideouts, but that isn’t an issue with two top receivers under contract an extended stretch.

Cooper and Crabtree have different playing styles and personality types, yet yin and yang in this Raiders offense without issue.

“We complement each other well,” Cooper said. “Having multiple options is really great to have, especially guys that threaten defenses.”

Fan dies after falling while leaving Broncos game

Fan dies after falling while leaving Broncos game

DENVER -- Authorities say a fan has died after falling 60 feet at the Denver Broncos' stadium after a game on Monday night.

Stadium Management Co., which operates Sports Authority Field at Mile High, said the fan fell over a railing.

The medical examiner's office said Tuesday the man was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead. He was identified as 36-year-old Jason Coy.

Denver police say he was sitting on a railing when he fell. Witnesses and emergency responders immediately tried to help.

The incident occurred near the north end of the stadium following the Broncos' game against the Houston Texans.

In a statement, the Broncos said the team is "reviewing this tragic incident and will continue to maintain all necessary safety measures for our fans."