Tyvon Branch returns to Raiders practice

Allen on Branch: If he's healthy enough he'll play

Tyvon Branch returns to Raiders practice
December 4, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Tyvon Branch fractured his right fibula during the Raiders' Sept. 15 victory over Jacksonville. (AP)

Programming note: Watch Wednesday’s Raiders press conference with Dennis Allen and Matt McGloin streaming live right here at 1:15 p.m.   

ALAMEDA – Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch practiced for the first time in months on Wednesday, marking a probable return for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

[NEWS: Veldheer, Raiders engaged in contract negotiations]

Branch fractured his right fibula during a Sept. 15 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Raiders previously used their injured reserve – designation-to-return slot on left tackle Jared Veldheer, so Branch was kept on the active roster in hopes of returning down the home stretch.

His rehab took a bit longer than expected, but the Raiders remained patient and targeted the Jets game for his return.

Head coach Dennis Allen said Branch wouldn’t need much practice time before playing, and three days should be enough to get back on the field.

Branch’s return would be a huge boon to the Raiders secondary. Brandian Ross has struggled in recent weeks as a tackler and in coverage.

Branch was the strength of the secondary before his injury, the only member with experience in the defense. He was one of just two carryover starters, and he was sorely missed over a prolonged stretch.

Stay tuned for player and coach reaction to Branch’s return to practice.