Notes and observations from Raiders camp

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Notes and observations from Raiders camp

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.

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.”