ALAMEDA – Raiders safety Tyvon Branch missed most of last season with a fractured fibula. The Raiders kept him on the active roster until the bitter end, when he tried to practice and was unable to play.
Halting his comeback had a long-term goal. The Raiders wanted Branch fully healthy for the 2014 season. Consider that mission accomplished.
General manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday that Branch was ready to start the on-field portions of the offseason program. Branch has been working out with the team since offseason activity began on April 22.
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Outside of cornerback D.J. Hayden, who is ready to participate after groin surgery, McKenzie didn’t elaborate on whether other players who finished the season on injured reserve will be ready to go. That list includes running back Latavius Murray and tight end David Ausberry.
“There will be some guys who are limited,” McKenzie said. “We’ll let the doctors handle that in the next couple of weeks.”
The news on Branch is good. The Raiders sorely missed him in 2013, after he got hurt in a Week 2 victory against Jacksonville. Brandian Ross struggled in his stead, and Charles Woodson played with less freedom without him.
Branch and Woodson will pair up in 2014, which should help a secondary that also features cornerbacks Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers and Hayden.