OAKLAND -- Carson Palmer called it a "sweet" spin move, his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.Coming up short of the goal line in the Raiders' exhibition against Detroit, Palmer hit the dirt with a thud in the left corner near the north end zone at O.co Coliseum. And when he came up, he had nasty scratches along his rib cage and hip.The strawberries, though, were anything but sweet.At this time of year in Oakland, when baseball and football seasons overlap, it's an occupational hazard as the baseball infield dirt is still down. And with the A's threatening to advance to the postseason, the Raiders, who are guaranteed to play at least their first two regular season games on the dirt, would have a third game if the A's go deep in their playoffs.The wince from Palmer as he unveiled the injuries spoke volumes, but defensive tackle Tommy Kelly put a voice to the feeling."Feels like Hell," he said with a shrug. "Really, it's an uncomfortable feeling but you know, it's necessary. There's not too much you can do about it; you've just got to accept it. But I mean, it ain't fun at all."With the Miami Marlins getting their own baseball stadium this year, leaving Sun Life Stadium in their rearview mirror and the Dolphins having their football-specific facility back to themselves after sharing it since 1993, the Coliseum is the only baseball-football facility remaining. And the national television cameras will capture it all Monday night as the Raiders open the season against San Diego."I guess it adds to the authenticity," Kelly said with a laugh. "It's an old-school stadium, so it gives it that feel but trust me, we'll be happy when that dirt is gone."If the A's win the American League West and play host to a Game 7 in the ALCS, there would be a conflict on Oct. 21 as that is also the day the Raiders are scheduled to play host to Jacksonville."The dirt, man, it's one of those things you can't prepare for. It don't really hurt until you hit it, so you don't really think about it when you're playing. Sometimes you get up with a couple of scrapes, you look at it, and then you just go on to the next play."You definitely lose some footing a little bit in there. But the good thing about it is, they've got to run in it too, so it evens out."A few years ago, former left tackle Barry Sims told me about certain plays where he'd have one foot on grass, the other on dirt, as he lined up for the snap. Not the most comforting of situations.Rookie coach Dennis Allen remembered dealing with the dirt in an exhibition game when he was with New Orleans."You've got to take that into account," he said of the dirt. "Its no different than they talk about in baseball, understanding how the balls going to carom off the wall and being able to play those things. Its the same thing out there on the dirt."We know that were going to have to play on it, and not everybody plays on it. So, we want to try to use it to our advantage."
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.
He’ll also be a spectator next week.
The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.
The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.
He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.
Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.
By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.
Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.
The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.
Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.
The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.
Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.
Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.
“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.
His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.
Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.
If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.
OAKLAND – NaVorro Bowman would’ve been forgiven for skipping Thursday’s game. The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders, and had one practice and a pair of walk-throughs before facing Kansas City.
That isn’t much time to absorb a new scheme. No matter. As he said Monday, Bowman wanted to show you something.
The former 49er certainly did, even more than Bowman expected. He played 60 of 62 defensive snaps in a crucial 31-30 victory over the Chiefs.
He didn’t just play. He performed. Bowman led the Raiders with 11 tackles, including one for a loss and a crucial hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on a crucial third-down stop in the fourth quarter.
He wore the green dot – play calls were relayed to his helmet speaker -- and helped get the defense lined up.
“I just absolutely love the football player in him. He’s a hunting dog,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He loves to play. He brought experience during the week. He was a settling influence, kind of a determined influence on the sideline. I thought he did a remarkable job.”
That’s the result. The process of getting there was remarkable. He put in 40 hours of work in three days, memorizing terminology and defensive concepts specific to the game plan. He bunkered down and ignored the world during his acclimation process, and came out a functional member of the Raiders defense.
“Everyone knows I’ve only been here for three days and must be wondering how I did it,” Bowman said. “It was my commitment to the game, and my family understanding how much I love the work and giving me that peace and quiet time in hours away from them to really get everything down. This is why you want to come out so well and execute. So many people are sacrificing so you can play the game.”
Bowman helped keep the Raiders close down the stretch, and had key stops in a pair of defensive stops that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to orchestrate a successful two-minute drill.
"I was on the sidelines with my back turned, saying ‘I can’t watch, I can’t watch,’” Bowman said. “They all looked at me funny like, ‘This is what we do.’ They went out and won, and acted all normal. I guess that’s how we roll. It was a great game, and I enjoyed it.”
That was clear after the game. There was a good reason for it. Bowman hadn’t won a game since September 2016. Bowman lost most of last season recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, meaning he last tasted victory in Week 2 last season.
“I’ve worked my way back from the Achilles injury, and to have a shot to better and get better and possibly win a division is huge,” Bowman said. “We just beat a really good team. I think this will propel us and get us going.”
Quarterback – Derek Carr 82
Running back – Jalen Richard 26, DeAndre Washington 25, Jamize Olawale 11, Marshawn Lynch 10
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 78, Seth Roberts 72, Michael Crabtree 72, Cordarelle Patterson 18, Johnny Holton 6
Tight end – Jared Cook 67, Lee Smith 17, Clive Walford 8
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 82, Rodney Hudson 82, Donald Penn 82, Vadal Alexander 82, Gabe Jackson 82
Defensive line – Khalil Mack 62, Denico Autry 46, Justin Ellis 44, Treyvon Hester 32, Mario Edwards 28, Eddie Vanderdoes 19, James Cowser 3
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 60, Bruce Irvin 59, Nicholas Morrow 38,
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 62, Dexter McDonald 50, David Amerson 28, Sean Smith 19
Safety – Reggie Nelson 62, Karl Joseph 62, Keith McGill 7, Shalom Luani 1
Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Shalom Luani 21, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Jamize Olawale 19, Shlique Calhoun 16, Jon Feliciano 14, Lee Smith 14, Giorgio Tavecchio 12, Johnny Holton 12, Marquette King 11, Jon Condo 11, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, Jalen Richard 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Darius McCray 8, Kelechi Osemele 7, Gabe Jackson 7, Vadal Alexander 7, Clive Walford 7, Justin Ellis 7, David Sharpe 7, Khalil Mack 6, TJ Carrie 6, Denico Autry 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Mario Edwards Jr. 5, Karl Joseph 5, DeAndre Washington 4,
DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel
CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, LB Cory James, DL Jihad Ward, RT Marshall Newhouse