Summary -- After six straight padded practices, the Raiders went back to shorts and shells, as a reward, of sorts, on Wednesday. It was the first practice cornerback Ron Bartell could go full in, yet he was unable to hit. Still, after the scary scene Tuesday, when running back Mike Goodson was strapped to a gurney and taken away in an ambulance, it was probably a good idea. Especially since Goodson was released from Queen of the Valley Medical Center Tuesday night and back at the Napa Marriott. He was not seen at practice though, and with injuries starting to pile up, unheralded Lonyae Miller is the next logical candidate to get the lion's share of the carries. The Raiders have a day off now to heal up and start preparations for Monday night's exhibition opener against Dallas.Offensive play of the day -- Taking a quick slant pass from Carson Palmer, Jacoby Ford caught the perfect-placed ball in stride, just ahead of Bartell and was off to the races. Bartell had little chance or time to react.Defensive play of the day -- Linebacker Philip Wheeler flashed several times in pass coverage, none perhaps more than when he blanketed tight end Brandon Myers going up the middle and Wheeler picked off Palmer's pass. Palmer, though, threw an imaginary flag on the play. He believed Wheeler held Myers.Injury report -- Receivers Denarius Moore (hamstring) and Eddie McGee (hamstring) and running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) worked on agility drills on the side at the start of practice while defensive end Jack Crawford (foot), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee) were mere observers. Punter Shane Lechler (left knee), placekicker Sebastian Janikowski (sick) and running back Mike Goodson (neck) were not seen.Notable -- The defense was a constant thorn in the offense's side on rollout plays. Maybe because they know it's coming, or maybe the offense is still gelling. But Lamarr Houston was consistently in the offensive backfield. Will opposing defenses figure it out as well? If so, beware, Carson Palmer.Quotable -- "What plays are you talking about? I don't even remember what plays you're talking about." -- cornerback Bartell, when asked about being beaten by speedy receiver Ford during practice.Eye on reps -- With Moore out with a sore hamstring, Ford has been running across from Darrius Heyward-Bey as the second first-team wideout. And with every passing snap, Ford seems to be developing a better chemistry with quarterback Carson Palmer.Extra work -- It's no mystery the Raiders are short on running backs with Taiwan Jones still nursing a tweaked hamstring and Goodson still recovering from the scary-looking neck injury he suffered on Tuesday so it's only natural that Miller pick up the slack carrying the ball. Plus, fullback Rashawn Jackson saw some time at tailback.Coaching moment -- Allen, on how relieved he was that Goodson's neck injury was not as serious as it looked: "Extremely. Extremely. We care about all of these guys. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt especially something as serious as a neck injury. The fact that everything came back fine was obviously very relieving to all of us."Next practice -- The Raiders are off Thursday but return Friday with a 2:20 p.m. practice.
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.
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.”