Raiders must make do with D. Moore out

Olson praises McGloin's leadership, intangibles

Raiders must make do with D. Moore out
November 22, 2013, 10:00 am
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Andre Holmes will replace Jacoby Ford in the starting lineup, and he has just one catch this season and three in his professional life. (AP)

Programming note: After the Titans-Raiders game on Sunday, change the channel to Raiders Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet California

Raiders receiver Denarius Moore isn’t expected to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans with a shoulder injury. A pair of sources confirmed that to this week.

That leaves rookie quarterback Matt McGloin with one less viable option in the passing game. Moore is the team’s leading receiver, with 569 yards and five touchdowns. Outside starter Rod Streater, the Raiders have received little production from their backup wideouts.

Jacoby Ford leads the secondary options with 10 catches for 80 yards. Andre Holmes will replace Moore in the starting lineup, and he has just one catch this season and three in his professional life.

The Raiders have options, but no one close to Moore’s snuff.

“It always hurts whenever you lose a starter at any position,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “We’re fortunate that we got Andre Holmes back here a couple weeks back and he’s been getting better every day. So we’re fortunate in that regard, but it always hurts losing a starter.”

Holmes missed four games for violating the league’s PED policy. Holnes spent a week as a roster exemption, before being formally activated. He also missed a week because of a hamstring injury.

[RELATED: Raiders injury update: Moore skips practice, could sit Sunday]

Raiders coaches have lauded Holmes' ability in practice, but the young receiver doesn't have much to show for it.

They’ll need Holmes to produce, because Moore’s injury isn't going away. A diagnosis wasn’t revealed, but Allen said Moore will have to deal with the injury all season. He said the injury wouldn’t require surgery, and that Moore could play through it if he can tolerate the pain.

“Obviously, Denarius has been really our leading receiver,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “It’ll have an effect, but it’s just like everything else we’ve had to deal with as far as injuries are concerned. It’s the next man up, and somebody’s going to have to come out and perform. Our guys will be ready.”

Holmes believes he will be, despite the fact he’ll be counted on by a team still in the hunt for a playoff spot.

“I'm just going to be doing what I do every week,” Holmes said. “I don't feel any pressure in that I'm getting bigger role, I'm just going to go out there and play how I usually play.”

This isn’t a straight Moore-for-Holmes swap on Sunday. Allen said that every active pass catcher must contribute in some way. That will be important with McGloin at the helm. He completed passes to six different receivers against Houston, including a touchdown to rookie tight end Mychal Rivera.

As a collective, Raiders need more consistent hands. The Raiders were credited with just one drop, but there were several more catchable passes that hit the turf. While McGloin throws a faster ball, often right out of a receiver’s break, Allen didn’t want to make excuses for those mistakes.

He emphasized catching the football – an issue with Moore as well – when a ball’s delivered on time and accurately. 

“Well you’ve got to continue to work at it and get over on the JUGS machine and catch balls,” Allen said. “I mean that’s the only way you get better at it. Some of those drops were obviously tough catches, but we hold ourselves to a high standard. Those are plays that we expect our guys to be able to make. I don’t spend a lot of time having a counseling session with them. That’s what our job is. We’ve got to catch the football.”