Injury report: Raiders S Karl Joseph doubtful vs Broncos

Injury report: Raiders S Karl Joseph doubtful vs Broncos

ALAMEDA – Raiders strong safety Karl Joseph was a limited participant in two practices heading into Sunday’s regular-season finale. They were his first football activities since injuring his toe in a victory over Buffalo on Dec. 4.

It’s a sign of progress, but not a sign he’s ready to return. Joseph was formally declared doubtful for Sunday’s game at Denver, but he is not expected to play that game. A playoff return seems in the cards for this year’s first-round draft pick, who has missed three straight games with injury.

Nate Allen has played well in Joseph’s stead, allowing the Raiders to ease their rookie back to game action.

Left guard Kelechi Osemele returned to practice Friday after two days out with an ankle injury. He is officially considered questionable, but is expected to play.

So are other questionable Raiders, including receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, running back Jalen Richard and linebackers Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley Jr.

Right tackle Austin Howard was added to the injury report on Friday and was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Menelik Watson was expected to make his second straight start there.

Defensive tackle Stacy McGee is questionable to play with a groin injury. He has missed four straight games.

Denver ruled safety T.J. Ward and defensive lineman Derek Wolfe out with injury. Linebacker Brandon Marshall is questionable.

Raiders Injury Report
QB Derek Carr (ankle), OT Austin Howard (shoulder)
S Karl Joseph (toe)
CB David Amerson (knee), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), RB Jalen Richard (shoulder), DL Stacy McGee (groin), OL Kelechi Osemele (ankle), LB Perry Riley Jr. (hamstring), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)

Broncos Injury Report

TE A.J. Derby (concussion), S T.J. Ward (concussion), DE Derek Wolfe (neck)
ILB Brandon Marshall (hamstring)

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”

Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini


Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini

The Raiders need help at right tackle, the lone vacancy along their offensive line. They signed a veteran presence on Thursday afternoon, adding 32-year old Breno Giacomini as the frontrunner to join the starting five.

He has 86 starts in 94 career games, and has been a full-time starter three of the last four years. Giacomini spent 2017 in Houston and the previous three seasons with the New York Jets.

He was a Seattle Seahawk before that, working with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable for three of his four years there. Cable gave Giacomini his first chance to start in the second half of 2011, and held the post through 2012.

The bond between the two is clearly strong, considering what Giacomini tweeted shortly after Cable got fired in Seattle.

Coach and player will reunite, hoping to provide steadiness on the right side of the Raiders offensive line.

He’ll compete for a starting spot with Vadal Alexander, second-year pros David Sharpe and Jylan Ware and possibly a drafted player. Giacomini should be considered the favorite unless the Raiders use an early pick on an offensive lineman.

Giacomini has plenty of starts, but his Pro Football Focus numbers aren’t pretty. The analytics says he allowed nine sacks, eight quarterback hits and 64 pressures with Houston last year. He had some decent years under Cable, and a return to that form might push him into the starting lineup for good. Time will tell on that front.