Raiders stave off Vikings in Minnesota 27-21


Raiders stave off Vikings in Minnesota 27-21


MINNEAPOLIS -- Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey suffered what appeared to be a neck injury after catching a four-yard pass across the middle early in the fourth quarter.Heyward-Bey took a knee to the back of his head, popping his helmet off. He was immobilized on the ground and strapped to a stretcher.His legs were moving in the immediate aftermath and he was taken to the hospital for reactionary X-rays.A.P. all day? Not on this day: Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson has been a study in durability in his NFL career after being banged up in college. Sunday, late in the first quarter, Peterson had his left ankle rolled up on by Raiders free safety Michael Huff. Peterson was helped off the field before being carted into the locker room. He walked back out in uniform at the start of the second half but did not play again after going for 26 yards on six carries, including a 12-yard touchdown run that gave the Vikings a 7-0 lead.Li'l Wiz back at center: Samson Satele did not play at San Diego with a balky left knee and suffered a concussion late in the second quarter against Minnesota, again forcing rookie Stephen Wisniewski to move from left guard to center. While Stephon Heyer again came in at left guard, Wisniewski should be getting all-rookie team recognition.Penalties, again: Everyone knows the Raiders are the most penalized team in the NFL. But even the most jaded of observers would have had trouble with the three personal foul penalties assessed on Oakland on Minnesota's first scoring drive, giving the Vikings 42 free yards -- a roughing-the-passer call on Tommy Kelly, unnecessary roughness on Aaron Curry and a face mask on Tyvon Branch.Bush Push II: Remember when Reggie Bush pushed his USC teammate Matt Leinart into the end zone at Notre Dame? Michael Bush (no relation) took a page from his namesake's book when he gave Carson Palmer a shove from one yard out, eight seconds left in the first half and no timeouts remaining.Turnover battle: Before Michael Bush lost his fumble with less than six minutes to play, the Raiders had been winning the turnover battle, 4-0.A game of firsts: Not only did Tommy Kelly get his first career interception, off a Lito Sheppard deflection, but Sebastian Janikowski had his first field-goal attempt blocked since the 2007 season opener. Janikowksi was attempting a 49-yarder a play after Heyward-Bey was injured.Fourth-quarter woes continue: The Raiders had to sweat out another win after being held scoreless again the fourth quarter. They have not scored in the final quarter since a Janikowski field goal with 10 minutes to play at Houstonon Oct. 9five games ago.Jared Bowl: : Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer bested the NFL's leading sack artist, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, holding him sackless and being called for only one penalty.

Raiders select LB Marquel Lee in fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

Raiders select LB Marquel Lee in fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft

Position: Linebacker
College: Wake Forest
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 240 pounds
Selection: Fifth round, No. 168 overall

ALAMEDA – It took five full rounds, but the Raiders finally drafted an inside linebacker. They don’t have a starter in the middle and have razor thin depth at that position and weakside linebacker, with Jelani Jenkins as that position group’s only experienced member.

The Raiders could’ve addressed this pressing need earlier in the draft but followed their draft board and fortified other positions instead. General manager Reggie McKenzie finally added Lee to the mix.

He’s certainly the right size at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds and long arms. He’s was a team leader in college, and analysts say he takes a disciplined approach to his craft. He’s a solid run defender and does his job creating proper run fits.

Critics says his slow to adjust to misdirection, and doesn’t play fast enough in man coverage. His speed may have pushed Lee down the draft board some, which might hinder his ability to play inside in a Raiders scheme where inside linebackers are expected to have great range in coverage.

Lee is a decent blitzer, with 7.5 sacks as a senior. He also had 105 tackles, including 20 for a loss, and three forced fumbles in his final season.

He’ll certainly come in an compete for a role with linebackers already here, including Cory James and Ben Heeney. The Raiders might still look for a veteran addition. That includes 2016 starter Perry Riley, who remains on the open market.

Raiders fourth-round OL refutes pre-draft rumors: 'I'm not legally blind'

Raiders fourth-round OL refutes pre-draft rumors: 'I'm not legally blind'

ALAMEDA – Florida offensive tackle David Sharpe spent part of his pre-draft process dispelling rumors that he was legally blind in his right eye. The report came out this spring, and Sharpe denied it quickly.

The information reappeared Saturday morning, when NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock mentioned it shortly after the Raiders drafted Sharpe No. 129 overall. The draft analyst said Sharpe might be restricted to the offensive line’s left side.

Sharpe said that isn’t the case. He can play left or right tackle. And his vision is just fine, thank you very much.

“I’m not blind. I’m not legally blind,” Sharpe said. “The information is false, all of it is false. I just had a little cataract removal when I was younger and I’ve been battling that since I was young. But it doesn’t affect my play or vision or anything. I’m not blind.”

Sharpe said his right eye is a little blurrier than the left, but it doesn’t impact his play in any way.

The 6-foot-6, 343-pound blocker was projected to go in the first three rounds, but fell to the fourth. He wasn’t upset about an issue that was a non-issue.

“It doesn’t really make me mad,” Sharpe said. “I just brush it off. It was just false and I addressed it.”

The Raiders had some inside info on Sharpe’s play. Head coach Jack Del Rio’s son Luke is Florida’s quarterback, and vouched for Sharpe’s effectiveness before Oakland made the official selection.

“He actually texted me this morning and said his dad called him and asked about me,” Sharpe said. “There was a little hint there, so that was cool.”