NAPA -- Denarius Moore's balky hamstring has not allowed him to practice since Aug. 4. Jacoby Ford is limping around the Marriott with a protective boot on his left foot, the result of an injury suffered Friday in Arizona. And Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced Tuesday for the first time since suffering a sprained shoulder against the Cardinals.
RELATED: Ford, eight others miss first 'regular-season schedule practice'
So yeah, you might think the Raiders need some help at receiver. And with a certain unemployed wideout with seven years experience catching Carson Palmer passes still floating about, Chad Johnson anyone?But while Palmer would indeed welcome his former favorite target to Oakland, he's not so sure the Raiders necessarily need him. Not at this time, anyway."I don't think we're banged up where we've got guys that are going on IR, you know what I mean? I think that's a different situation," Palmer told CSNCalifornia.com. "I had a great time playing with Chad. I had no issues with him at all. He'd be a great add for any team but we've got young guys that are just coming along. I mean Denarius will be back any day. Jacoby's deal is not that bad. So we're not going to give up on any of those guys."They're too good of players and young."But none of them have Johnson's resumeor baggage.Consider: from 2004 through 2010, Johnson caught 564 passes for 7,933 yards and 50 touchdowns, most of it from Palmer, and was named to five Pro Bowls and twice a first-team All-Pro selection.RELATED: Chad Johnson career stats 2011 game logs News
"We got along great, we got along great," Palmer said. "Yeah, Chad and I had a ton of success together. When we were together and he was younger, he led the AFC, he led the league in a lot of categories. He was awesome."Johnson's 1,369 receiving yards in 2006 led the NFL, as did his 85.6-yards-per-game average."And then he got a little bit off track over the years," Palmer said. "But he'll be back. He'll bounce back."Last year in New England, Johnson had just 15 receptions for 276 yards and one score with Tom Brady throwing the ball.And then two weekends ago, his career seemingly hit a wall when he was released by the Miami Dolphins in the wake of his arrest for allegedly head-butting his wife."Chad's going to bounce back," said Palmer, who said he had not spoken with Johnson recently. "He's been through a lot, not just in his NFL career, but throughout his entire life. I know Chad will bounce back. Just an unfortunate kind of year for him, with getting cut twice and then obviously with the last deal."But just knowing Chad, he's been through harder things in his life and he'll bounce back from this."Just not with the Raiders. At least, not in the foreseeable future.
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.”
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.”