2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Raiders safety practices, still questionable

By MICHAEL WAGAMAN - Associated Press
    2012-11-16 17:15

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Oakland Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch practiced Friday for the first time this week but remains questionable with a neck injury.

Branch was hurt during last Sunday's 55-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The injury worsened on the flight back to the West Coast and Branch was held out of all workouts before returning in a limited capacity.

While that's progress, Oakland coach Dennis Allen wouldn't classify it as significant and said he won't know Branch's status for certain until Sunday.

``It's a better step forward,'' Allen said.

Branch, who signed a four-year, $26.6 million deal in the offseason after being hit with the franchise tag, has started 57 consecutive games for Oakland. He hasn't missed a game since a shoulder injury sidelined him for the final eight games of his rookie season in 2008.

Without him, the Raiders would be minus their second-leading tackler and the leader of the secondary.

``You don't want to miss any games, you know?'' Branch said. ``This is what we love to do so I don't want to miss any games. It's not about the streak, it's about me missing a game.''

The Raiders are already thin in the middle of their secondary.

Free safety Matt Giordano missed practice earlier this week after suffering a concussion against Baltimore. Michael Huff, the starting free safety at the beginning of the year, has been playing cornerback since Week 3.

Mike Mitchell will start at strong safety for Oakland if Branch is unable to play. Mitchell started four games in 2011 but has played sparingly as a backup this season.

A second-round pick in 2009, Mitchell welcomes the opportunity to start. He also feels it's long overdue and was very outspoken about the situation when approached by reporters.

``I'm just so ready to be done with this, to show what I can do,'' Mitchell said. ``I'm tired. I feel like I've been held back, held back, held back, so if I get the opportunity I just want to go play good football and show the abilities God has blessed me with. I'm definitely excited about it.''

Harnessing that exuberance could be as big a challenge for the excitable Mitchell while trying to slow down the New Orleans Saints' second-ranked passing attack.

``He's a passionate player, he works extremely hard (and) he loves the game,'' Allen said of Mitchell. ``Sometimes you have to slow his heartbeat down a little bit and get him to calm down a little bit. It's important to him and that's what I like about him.''

Oakland will also be without seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) for the second consecutive game.

That doesn't bode well for a team that has given up 97 points in its past two games. The Raiders have allowed 31 points or more in five games overall this season, four of them losses.

The Saints are averaging 27.8 points over their previous five games.

Injuries are also taking a toll on the Raiders offense.

Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both out with foot injuries, while wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Heyward-Bey led the Raiders in receptions and receiving yardage in 2011 but has only 24 catches through nine games this season.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group