Raiders wrestling with roster decisions

Raiders wrestling with roster decisions
November 6, 2012, 12:14 am
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ALAMEDA -- Linebacker Aaron Curry is eligible to be activated to the 53-man roster on Wednesday.Cornerback Ron Bartell is eligible to be activated in time to play Sunday at Baltimore."We haven't made a decision on either one of those yet," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Monday at his weekly media conference.And so it goes.Because remember, it's not as easy as simply activating a player; there has to be a corresponding roster move. And the salary cap has to be taken into consideration.Plus, with the Raiders' top two running backs nursing high ankle sprains, the potential of signing another player has to be taken into account as well."There's only so many spots you've got," Allen said.Bartell was injured in the season opener, suffering a fractured shoulder blade against San Diego."We have until Saturday to make that decision," Bartell said, "so Im going to put another good week of practice in, and if all goes well at practice, and they deem me fit and ready to play, then Ill be ready to play."I made some good progress, but you know, missing seven weeks, just not being in game shape, its tough to get back. But I definitely feel a lot better, a lot more confident. Ive got another week to get prepared, and thats what I plan on doing and well make that decision on Saturday."The case for Curry, though, is especially curious since Allen had recently said he "anticipated" activating the high-energy linebacker with knee issues for the Tampa Bay game."Well, I still think, at the end of the day, theres some question there exactly where he is physically," Allen said of Curry. "But the other thing that I said was, Im not going to make that decision until I feel I have to. So, thats part of the deal, too, and we didnt feel like we had to make a decision at that point in time. But were getting closer to that point where we got to make a decision."Two other injured Raiders who have remained on the 53-man roster, though, are making strides.Right tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (right foot) were both injured at Miami in Week 2. The Raiders will work out Spencer on Tuesday to test him out and Barnes is expected to practice Wednesday."We'll see, I've worked hard to get back here and did everything that was asked," said Spencer, who has trained on the anti-gravity treadmill alterG. "So all we can do is seeI'm just pretty much a go out and wing it-kind of guy. So we'll go out, do whatever they say, and see how it plays out."Willie Smith, meanwhile, has played in place of Barnes and has had a rough go of it. Sunday, he allowed a sack and his holding penalty negated a 47-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Derek Hagan. Of course, had Smith not held Michael Bennett, Palmer would have been crushed by Bennett and the pass never would have been thrown.