Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 27, 2012
When wideouts return, don't expect instant chemistry

by Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

ALAMEDA -- Denarius Moore hasn't taken a rep in practice since the first week of training camp. Nor has Jacoby Ford since the first half of the Arizona game on Aug. 17. The Raiders aren't ruling either receiver out for their season opener against the Chargers on Sept. 10, which is still two weeks away, but in quarterback Carson Palmer's eyes the sooner they can get back on the field the better.

"We need a ton of work together," Palmer said after the Raiders' practice today. "You can never get enough work with a guy. Even if he's played every rep and you've played every rep, you always need those reps. When they're back, it's not easy to get off the couch or get out of a walking boot or off crutches or whatever it may be, and just show up and play. This league is way too good."

Ford was out of his walking boot today, and head coach Dennis Allen said he is "closer" to returning, but didn't get more specific than that. Allen said roughly the same thing yesterday about Moore, who was out running routes on the O.co Coliseum field before Saturday's preseason game but still not practicing today with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Rod Streater continues to work as the No. 2 receiver, and fellow rookie Juron Criner was the third receiver in with the first-team offense today. Criner caught two long touchdown passes from Terrelle Pryor against Detroit, while Eddie McGee had a pass bounce out of his hands for an interception and slipped twice on plays on which the ball was thrown to him.

Unlike the rookies, Ford and Moore have the benefit of whatever chemistry they formed with Palmer in the limited amount of time they played with him last year. But Palmer said they will both likely need time to get up to game speed, particularly in the case of Moore, who hasn't played at all in the preseason.

"These players are too good, these schemes are too good just to jump back in and go," Palmer said. "So there's going to be a little bit of a process of getting their legs back and their conditioning back, but also their minds and bodies to the speed of the game, to get caught up with everything."

* Along with Ford and Moore, linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), tight end Richard Gordon (ribs), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (sore knees) and center Stefen Wisniewski were held out of practice.

Allen said he's going to wait until the last minute before Friday's 53-man roster deadline to decide whether to place Curry on the physically unable to perform list to start the season. If that happens, Curry will miss the first six weeks of the season before he can start practicing.

* Quarterback Matt Leinart, who missed the Detroit game with a laceration on his right index finger, practiced today and is expected to play Thursday at Seattle, Allen said. Allen has said he doesn't plan on holding players out of the Raiders' fourth and final preseason game, where teams often play their starters sparingly if at all, just on principle. "If guys are healthy and good to go, the plan is to let them play," Allen said.

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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