Raiders' Schilens finally healthy, ready to play

Raiders' Schilens finally healthy, ready to play
September 8, 2011, 6:02 pm
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Sept. 8, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- Raiders fans, you've heard it all before. So it's understood if you're a bit leery about fully embracing the possibility.But injury-prone receiver Chaz Schilens insists he is fully healed from the knee injury he suffered in Oakland's exhibition opener against Arizona on Aug. 11, and that you'll see him in the regular season opener Monday night in Denver."I plan to play in the game and I hope everything goes good," Schilens said following the Raiders' Wednesday night practice.Asked if he would be tentative coming back, what with his injury history, Schilens shook his head."No, actually, probably the opposite," he said. "I try to come back even harder. So maybe that's why I've gotten myself in some of the (injury) problems. But nah, I try not to think about it at all, really."Schilens has alternately teased and tortured Raiders fans with his skill set since the Raiders drafted him out of San Diego State in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.As a rookie, he played in all 16 games and caught a combined six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders' final two games of the season, victories over Houston and Tampa Bay.But then he broke a foot in a non-contact drill the following training camp, during a joint session with the 49ers. He missed half the year but again came on strong at the end, catching a career-high eight passes for 99 yards in the season finale finale against Baltimore.The foot, though, was not completely healed and after overcompensating for it, he injured a knee before the 2010 season. As such, he only appeared in five games but had a TD in the finale at Kansas City.This season, he reported to camp in fine physical condition, until he went down on an end-around play to the left against the Cardinals.But Wednesday, he completed his third straight practice without incident. Hence, his plan on playing against the Broncos. And re-joining a receiving corps filled with speed."They're a new team," he said of Denver, which was on the receiving end of the Raiders' 59-14 beatdown the last time they played in the Mile High City. "I think they're improved, watching them defense-wise. I don't expect to be anything like last year. I expect it to be a little more of a game and I know they're improved.I'm excited. I'm excited when we can all get out there, especially when Louis (Murphy) comes back and everything. I think we'll be good. It will be a hard pick-your-poison kind of thing."Better than picking an injured body part.

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