At least the receivers are getting healthy, right?


At least the receivers are getting healthy, right?

ALAMEDA -- A potentially positive byproduct of the Raiders' bye week?By the time Oakland emerges from its break next week to prepare for Atlanta, the Raiders wideouts should be at full strength. Both mentally and physically. Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced Tuesday for the first time since receiving a concussion and neck strain nine days earlier. Denarius Moore's right hamstring is as healthy as it's been since he strained it in June. Derek Hagan is caught up on the playbook. Rod Streater's poked eye is no longer an issue. Same with Juron Criner's right ankle."It definitely was a plus for us just to have the whole group out there healthy going into the bye week," said Hagan, who has caught 10 passes for 102 yards despite not being signed until Sept. 6, four days before the season opener."Thats the main thing going into the bye week -- you want everybody to be healthy and focusing on the job they have to do."The Raiders have the No. 13 passing game in the NFL, averaging 258.0 yards per game through the air. And now, with a week to get on the same page and health on the rise among the wideouts, the immediate future should be brighter.RELATED: NFL team-by-team stats
"Guys have been out and obviously me coming in after training camp, we all havent been on the same page at the right time," Hagan said, "but to have everybody back at the same time is obviously a benefit to us."

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”