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Del Rio optimistic Crabtree will play for Raiders vs Ravens

ALAMEDA – Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree pushed to play the Denver Broncos. It didn’t happen. His activity was halted Friday and he was dropped from questionable to doubtful over last weekend.

Crabtree was back in action this workweek, as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice. That’s a positive step, but head coach Jack Del Rio’s statement holds real promise for Crabtree’s immediate playing future.

Del Rio was asked if he was optimistic the veteran pass catcher would play Sunday against Baltimore.

His answer: “Yes.”

Del Rio doesn’t offer such details unless he’s confident in a player’s status. That should help a Raiders passing game scuffling these past few weeks. Crabtree suffered a chest injury in Week 3 at Washington, and wasn’t ready to play again.

They definitely need him in the pattern. Crabtree’s their most reliable receiver who can draw coverage away from others.

The Raiders pass defense missed some key contributors.

David Amerson was concussed against Denver, but has been cleared to practice while still in the concussion protocol. He was limited.

Gareon Conley was out Wednesday, though he’s expected to get back to practice Thursday in hopes of playing Baltimore.

“He wouldn’t admit much, but I just saw him reacting as though it was sore a little more last week,” Del Rio said Monday. “So, he got the weekend off. We’ll practice him probably Thursday and be smart on Wednesday …And then, get a good workload on Thursday and get him to the game and look at him that way.”

Defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. (back) and right guard Gabe Jackson (foot) missed their first practice of the regular season.