Injuries Decimate Raiders’ Receiving Corps
ALAMEDA (CBS / AP) — The Oakland Raiders’ once-deep wide receiving corps is suddenly razor thin.
Rookie Denarius Moore was held out of Wednesday’s practice and wore a protective boot on his right foot, while veteran T.J. Houshmandzadeh also sat out the workout.
With Jacoby Ford still mending from a foot injury and Darrius Heyward-Bey recovering from a concussion along with spine and neck injuries suffered last week in Minnesota, the Raiders are down to a handful of healthy receivers, including Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy and rookie Eddie McGee, who is on the team’s practice squad.
“It’s a concern but I think we have a chance to get some of these guys back toward the end of the week,” Coach Hue Jackson said. “Am I concerned about it? Yeah. Anytime you don’t practice it’s tough. But I think we’ll be OK.”
Moore has been Oakland’s best deep threat in his first NFL season and has developed into one of quarterback Carson Palmer’s favorite targets.
Moore, who has 23 catches and a team-leading four touchdown receptions, injured his foot in the second half of last week’s win in Minnesota and has been wearing a walking boot ever since.
“It makes it difficult,” Palmer said of the injury-plagued receivers. “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.”
Houshmandzadeh also sat out practice, though the Raiders didn’t disclose why. According to the league injury report, Houshmandzadeh, who has caught just two passes for 35 yards since signing with Oakland as a free agent on Nov. 1, sat out practice but it was non-injury related.
Only two weeks ago, the Raiders had a full complement of healthy receivers.
Ford then went down with a foot injury early in the first half against San Diego on Nov. 10. Like Moore, Ford has had to wear a walking boot since the injury, although Jackson said the second-year player could be out of the boot later this week.
Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ leading receiver, was injured after catching a short pass from Palmer on a crossing route early in the fourth quarter of the Vikings game. As Heyward-Bey was falling to the turf while getting tackled, Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson’s left knee hit the Oakland receiver in the back of his neck and popped Heyward-Bey’s helmet off.
He was later taken to a hospital for observation and rejoined the Raiders for their flight back to California.
“He was out here in spirit and moving around a little bit,” Jackson said. “I think he’s better than what he was and hopefully we’ll get him toward the end of the week.”
The injured receivers joined a long list of Oakland players who did not practice Wednesday, including running back Darren McFadden, defensive tackle Richard Seymour and defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Jarvis Moss.
Notes: Quarterback Jason Campbell, out since suffering a fractured clavicle against Cleveland on Oct. 16, has not resumed throwing but is getting closer. “I think he tried a little bit and it just wasn’t there,” Jackson said. “It’s going to take some time.” … Cornerback Chris Johnson practiced for the first time since being sidelined with a groin injury in late September.
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