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ALAMEDA – Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch tried to come back from a fractured fibula this season. The effort was in vain.
The veteran was placed on injured reserve Saturday to make room for a reserve defensive lineman. With Vance Walker out, the Raiders needed depth up front.
Branch said Monday that he simply wasn’t ready. He appreciated being kept on the active roster after a fractured ankle suffered in Week 2, but couldn’t will himself back to full health.
“I wasn’t ready to play,” Branch said. “Coach (Dennis Allen) knew that. I knew that. It just wasn’t right.”
The injury’s location didn’t help much. It takes a long time to heal, enough that it took Branch out of football shape. He didn’t have the burst or power in his ankle required to play his physical brand of football. The Raiders saw that before the Dec. 8 game against the New York Jets, and shut Branch down when he didn’t respond well the following week.
“It was tough to get all the muscles back firing after sitting around so long,” Branch said. “Then when you look at how I play the position, it just wasn’t going to be ready in time.”
Branch said a full offseason will bring him back to 100 percent, and he’ll be able to play without complications next season.