Undeterred by recent setbacks, Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch said he was on the road to recovery.
Turns out it was a bit too long. The team placed Branch on IR Saturday afternoon with an ankle injury suffered in Week 2 that never got quite right.
Defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin was added to the 53-man roster in a corresponding move.
The Raiders have missed Branch dearly, and kept him on the active roster all this time in hopes that he could come back for the stretch run.
He practiced over the last two weeks, but was never able to play. He was downgraded from questionable check out before Sunday's game against the New York Jets, and was doubtful before the upcoming game against Kansas City.
Head coach Dennis Allen said the rigors of playing strong safety at the NFL level complicated his recovery. Branch believed he was ready to return in a limited role weeks ago, but the teams wasn't as confident.
Branch simply ran out of time to return to full health. Despite his recent struggles, Brandian Ross will continue to start in his stead.