Ron Bartell suffered a fractured shoulder blade in the Raiders' season opener against San Diego on Sept. 10.Wednesday, the cornerback practiced for the first time since suffering the injury."He was limited in practice but yet he got a pretty good amount of work on the show (scout) teams," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said after practice. "It's more of a situation of getting him in football shape, more so than it is precautionary about the injury."Technically, Bartell is still on the NFL's new reserveinjured; designated to return list and the earliest he could be activated to the 53-man roster to play is the Raiders' Nov. 11 game at Baltimore."I don't know," Allen said when asked if he expected Bartell to be ready to face the Ravens. "We'll see when we get to that day."The Raiders also now have seven days and counting to decide whether to activate from the PUP list, waive or place on season-ending Injured Reserve linebacker Aaron Curry, who practiced again Wednesday.Allen was asked if the question with Curry was a matter of health or ability."Its a little bit a combination of both," Allen said. "We have to make the decision that we think is best for this football team as well as, listen, he hasnt played football in a long time. Its not like you just come out and start playing football after a week or two and everything is fine and good. Theres still some things we want to see out of him. Whenever we feel like its the best move for the football team, well make the move."Still, Allen admitted he thought Curry would be activated."But again," Allen said, "I dont have that crystal ball."For Curry to be activated to the 53-man roster, the Raiders would have to make a corresponding roster move. Linebacker Keenan Clayton has a shoulder injury and, "He's a guy that I've got concerns on," Allen saidAlso, the Raiders made a couple of practice squad moves, releasing defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and signing guard Jason Foster.
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.”