The Oakland Raiders put the pads back on Monday after having an unexpected day without them the day before.
Head coach Dennis Allen had previously scheduled Sunday to be a padded practice but decided against it due to the injury bug that has hit his team.
Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden seems to have joined the injury list after going out with a hamstring injury, according to Allen. Allen stated after the game that Hayden was going to sit out of Friday’s game against the Cowboys even if he did not get injured in practice Monday. The young cornerback has been wearing a red “no contact” jersey for all of training camp after an offseason surgery to remove scar tissue in his abdomen.
“D.J. Hayden has a little bit of a hamstring,” Allen said of Hayden’s injury. “We’ll see where he’s at when we come back to work on Wednesday, players are off tomorrow for the mandatory day off. So we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday. D.J. won’t play in the game against Dallas, then we’ll kind of reevaluate where we’re at with him after that.”
Hayden made a couple of nice plays in practice before pulling up lame. On consecutive turns in coverage, Hayden cut underneath wide receivers Juron Criner’s route and got his hand in there to knock the ball away.
With seven defensive lineman out after Sunday’s practice, the Raiders brought in defensive tackle Ryan Baker to compete on the team.
“I bring leadership. I bring high intensity. I’m a blue-collar kind of guy that just come out here and basically hits somebody in the face and gets practice going,” Baker said.
Monday marked Baker’s first appearance wearing the Silver & Black number 60 jersey, and he got thrown right into the fire in his first practice. Baker knows there’s no time to get acclimated with a game coming up this week.
“We have a game this Friday,” Baker said. “It’s time to get going, I’m glad they just threw me in there.”
Baker even got some chances as a long-snapper during special teams drills, but I wouldn’t expect him to be taking Pro Bowler Jon Condo’s job anytime soon. Baker short hopped some of the snaps but he stated afterwards that he’s here to help the defensive line, not snap to the punter.
“Actually, that was a mistake,” Baker said while laughing. “They said to switch the punt team and they turned me around and handed me the ball. So I’m not going to argue so I got down there and snapped the ball. I should’ve taken my gloves off, but I’m curious to see the film on that. But to answer the question, no, I’m not a long snapper.”
The defense seemed to have the upper hand on practice today and should be wearing the silver jerseys during next practice.
Defensive end Jason Hunter had a solid practice getting into the backfield and disrupting pass plays. Hunter was able to bullrush the right side of the offensive line and knock down the pass from quarterback Matt Flynn. On the next play, Hunter got around right tackle Khalif Barnes and Barnes was forced to hold Hunter to keep him away from the quarterback.
Young defensive end David Bass also had another nice practice. Bass used a good move to get to quarterback Terrelle Pryor for what would have been a sack.
The Raiders will need Hunter and Bass to help improve a defensive line that finished with just 25 sacks last season.
The return of right guard Mike Brisiel meant that Barnes was pushed back to his starting right tackle position while Alex Barron moved to the second-team left tackle position.
The Raiders wide receivers once again suffered from drops, this time from guys that have been catching everything during camp.
Tight end David Ausberry had a couple of drops you wouldn’t expect, and wide receiver Rod Streater had one clank off of his hands in the end zone. Wide receiver Denarius Moore also had two drops in a row, one of which went right through his hands and another one that was low but still catchable.
With the wide receivers struggling, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the quarterbacks didn’t have an especially great day as well. Flynn did complete a nice ball deep to Moore who beat his man easily for what would have been a touchdown.
After the team had so many drops in practice, it wasn’t surprising when practice ended with a ball going through Greg Jenkins’ hands on a quick pass from Matt McGloin.
Allen gave his players the night off away from meetings and the team doesn’t have to report back until 11 p.m. tomorrow night after the mandatory day off.
“I gave them the night off as far as meetings are concerned tonight,” Allen said. “The next thing they have is an 11 o-clock curfew tomorrow.”
You can listen to interviews from today’s practice below: