2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Raiders prepare for Manning without S Tyvon Branch

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-16 18:13

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders will have to deal with one of their toughest defensive tests without one of the leaders in their secondary.

Starting strong safety Tyvon Branch will likely miss significant time with a right ankle injury starting with next Monday night's game against Peyton Manning and the high-powered Denver Broncos.

Branch is one of two returning starters on a much-improved defense for Oakland (1-1) that leads the league with nine sacks and has allowed just three scores on its last 17 drives. Branch got hurt rushing the passer in the first quarter of Sunday's win over Jacksonville.

Coach Dennis Allen would not confirm an ESPN report Monday that Branch broke his leg but said Oakland's highest-paid player in 2013 will be out for ``some time.''

``Man that hurts,'' backup safety Usama Young said Monday. ``Hurts the team. Having a guy like that in the locker room, on the field, in meeting rooms. It's a devastation. As a group you have to put your best foot forward to go ahead and get the next guy up.''

Young and Brandian Ross filled in admirably for Branch on Sunday and both will likely see time alongside Charles Woodson in Oakland's secondary. Ross has played mostly strong safety and Young has backed up Woodson at free safety, but the Raiders could start either one because the positions are similar enough and Woodson has experience at both.

``If Ty's out for a while then we've got guys that we feel can step up and make plays, whether it's strong safety, free safety,'' Allen said. ``To me I look at those as interchangeable positions and they really need to be to be able to have the flexibility to do different things defensively. I think I've got confidence in all three of those guys that are back there.''

Branch has been one of the few constants on a Raiders defense that has undergone major overhauls the past two offseasons. He started 64 of the past 66 games and has played virtually every snap when healthy.

``He's been in the system now for a while and he truly understands the game,'' Woodson said. ``There's not much out there that's going to surprise him as a player. So you're going to miss a guy out there that has a great understanding of what to do and when to do it.''

His absence will be particularly felt this week against Manning and the Broncos. Denver has scored 90 points the first two weeks with Manning throwing nine touchdown passes and no interceptions.

A dangerous offense has gotten even tougher to defend this season with the addition of Wes Welker to a talented receiving corps that already featured Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Welker has 12 catches for 106 yards and three touchdowns in his first two games in Denver, giving Manning yet another option.

``He's the best of the best, you know, and he's seen everything and he probably watches film probably more than anybody else and he's going to know what to look for when he walks up to the line,'' Woodson said. ``The thing with him is you try your best to give him different looks and not let him know when you're in. If he knows what you're in, you see what he's done the first couple of weeks.''

Since allowing touchdowns on the opening two drives of the season to Indianapolis, the Raiders defense has played very well, giving up just two touchdowns and one field goal since then.

Oakland has been more aggressive than a year ago and it has paid off in the sacks, including five from the defensive backs. But the Raiders have been unable to generate any turnovers.

``We have to get the ball,'' Woodson said. ``Not to have any fumbles, not to have any interceptions has been tough. I'm used to having a couple myself at this point. That's what a great defense does. You stop people from moving the ball, you get off the field on third down and you get turnovers. We haven't gotten any over the first couple weeks, and that's something we've got to start doing. That's especially true against a guy like Peyton Manning.''

NOTE: G Lucas Nix is having an MRI on his injured ankle that forced him out of the game in the third quarter. ... Allen said he believes K Sebastian Janikowski's two missed FGs have to do with a lack of comfort with new holder Marquette King rather than bad holds. Shane Lechler had held for almost all of Janikowski's first 13 seasons.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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