Raiders thin at WR Wednesday

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Raiders thin at WR Wednesday

ALAMEDA -- The fact that four of Oakland's six receivers were unable to practice Wednesday does not bode well for the Raiders.Jacoby Ford is still wearing a walking boot on the left foot he sprained on Nov. 10.Darrius Heyward-Bey is still feeling the after-affects of his scary-looking head-spine-concussion injury after taking a knee to the back of the helmet on Sunday.Denarius Moore showed up to practice wearing a walking boot on his right foot.And even recently-acquired T.J. Houshmandzadeh did not practice, though his absence was not injury-related. He was with his wife for the birth of their child.Still, Raiders coach Hue Jackson was wearing a happy, hopeful face following practice.
"It's a concern, but I think we have a chance to get some of these guys back toward the end of the week," Jackson said. "Am I concerned about it? Yeah. Anytime you don't practice it's tough. But I think we'll be O.K. Guys will keep working at it and by the end of the week, hopefully we'll have some of these guys back."Still, with the receiving corps so banged up, quarterback Carson Palmer sees it as an opportunity for another receiver, or two, to step up.Especially since Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens were the only healthy wideouts at practice on Wednesday."It makes it difficult," Palmer said. "You don't get the same guys on the field from the week before, that rhythm and timing thing slows down a little bit. So we have our work cut out for us. We're playing against a good groupand we're not going to have all our guys. But we've got guys that have been waiting for their opportunity and looking for a chance to step up and help this team. And guys are going to have to do that this week."Murphy has actually led the Raiders receivers in catches the past two seasons with a combined 75 catches. But his season has been short-circuited by sports hernia surgery he underwent in training camp."Just got to work back to 100 percent," said Murphy, who has only one catch this year, a 23-yard pickup against Denver on Nov. 6. "I've talked to coach Jackson and he knows, we both understand each other, what he's trying to do, what I need to do to get back to 100 percent. I've been getting a lot of snaps. I've just got to make plays when my number's called."When that opportunity comes, I just got to make the play."And Schilens' potential has been harped upon by the Raiders for at least two years. He has 10 catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns.While Murphy and Schilens may not have the world-class speed of Ford and Heyward-Bey, the acrobatics of Moore or the resume of Houshmandzadeh, Murphy and Schilens showed Palmer a little something."I see it happen in practice, it happened three or four times today in practice, just running by people," Palmer said. "We've got speed and we've got fast guys that people know about. But there's other guys thatare fast."Chaz is 6-5 and once he opens up his stride he's as fast as any of them. Louis Murphy's a 4.3 guy. There's guys other than Jacoby that can run at the receiver position here, and we practice it. We work on it a lot."And if that doesn't work out, the Raiders have a receiver on the practice squad in Eddie McGee. Then there's the wild card -- Terrelle Pryor. Though that's more fantasy at this point.Ford being out, as well as rookie running back Taiwan Jones with a strained hamstring, have put a crimp in the kickoff return team's plans. Recently-signed Bryan McCann returned two kicks Sunday in Minnesota.And with Moore limping about, McCann and Murphy were fielding punts after practice on Wednesday.Ford, meanwhile, was still slogging around in his boot, though Jackson said that could change. And soon."He's very close to being out," Jackson said. "I think he's still in it for maybe one more day. I think he'll be out of that thing pretty soon. I'm sure he'll be excited about that."Not as excited as the Raiders themselves will be.

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

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AP

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”