Four questions facing Raiders: How many starters are sitting this one out?


Four questions facing Raiders: How many starters are sitting this one out?

Chat alert:Chat with Raiders Insider Paul Gutierrez tonight at 6:30 p.m. leading up to tonight's preseason game in Arizona!

Editor's Note: This is the second of four questions answered by Raiders Insider Paul Gutierrez. Each new question, or down, will be posted as gametime approaches.

First down: Will Jacoby Ford bounce back?
Second down
How many starters are sitting this one out?
At last count, six -- free safety Michael Huff (birth of his first child), linebacker Aaron Curry (knees), punter Shane Lechler (left knee), receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring), tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) and center Stefen Wisniewski (calf). Plus, running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring), fullback Rashawn Jackson (hip) and offensive linemen Zach Hurd (head) and Ed Wang (shoulder) have also been ruled out by coach Dennis Allen, and nose tackle Jamie Cumbie (foot) and defensive end Jack Crawford (foot) will be gametime decisions. It all adds up to more opportunity for more guys trying to crack the 53-man roster. But it also means the first units have one fewer chance to work with each other in a preseason setting. Still, coach Dennis Allen said this week that the first-team units will get more action against Arizona than they did against Dallas. How much, exactly? Allen was keeping that to himself, but you get the idea. "A lot of it depends on how the game pays out," he said. "We got a lot of snaps early in the game on offense; they had a couple of penalties that helped us out. Defensively, we played from a time frame a little bit longer than we anticipated last week. But from a play-count standpoint, we didn't play that much."

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”