While the bulk of the Raiders team practiced, WR Denarius Moore, RB Reshawn Jackson, and (drumroll please)LB Aaron Curry did not. Curry has missed all of training camp with knee problems so troubling that hes recently undergone stem cell therapy in an effort to fix the problem.
Curry did not appear to walk or run with any kind of limp. However, Coach Dennis Allen says the Raiders wont take Curry off of the Physically Unable to Perform list until he proves his change of direction skills are up to par.
Coach Allen also said that the window is closing for Curry to prove himself ready for the season opener.
Rookie Miles Burris will continue to start in Currys place, although Allen says he really wants Burris to learn to play with his pads down.
Here are the other players who didnt practice on Sunday:
- WR Jacoby Ford (sprained footCardinals game)
- S Michael Huff (excused for birth of child)
- FB Manase Tonga (no explanation given by Raiders)
- C Stefen Wisniewski (calf)
- T Ed Wang (shoulder)
- T Zach Hurd (head)
- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulderCardinals game)
- DT Richard Seymour (Given day off by Coach Allen)
- QB Matt Leinert (fingerCardinals game)
Coach Allen said Jacoby Ford's foot injury is not of the lisfranc variety, the kind that sidelined Darren McFadden for the final nine plus games last season.
After four days of punting on his own, Shane Lechler punted in practice Sunday for the first time all training camp. Hes been recovering from surgery on his plant foot knee. Lechler shanked his first punt, drawing some good natured ribbing from Coach Allen. After the shank, Lechler looked like his old selfeven though he says he was happy with only one of his 12 punts.
Running back Taiwan Jones was back at practice, too. Hes missed about two weeks with hamstring trouble.
The Raiders have Monday off.
Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.
Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.
That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.
“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.
“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”
The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.
Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.
The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.
On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.
The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.
The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.
There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.
These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.