Injury report: Penn out of Raiders practice; McGloin limited


Injury report: Penn out of Raiders practice; McGloin limited

ALAMEDA – Raiders left tackle Donald Penn went down hard late in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos and immediately grabbed his knee. Thinking the worst was understandable given Penn’s grimace, but the durable veteran left under his own power and returned for the game’s final snap.

He said in an Instagram Stories post later Sunday that he would be okay, and Tuesday shared a photo of his knees getting treatment.

Penn missed Wednesday’s practice, but he should be active for Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Houston Texans. It will take something serious to keep Penn out of a playoff game.

Starting right tackle Menelik Watson is Penn’s backup at left tackle, as he was against the Broncos. Austin Howard or Vadal Alexander would man right tackle if Watson needs to shift.

Penn, Nate Allen and Derek Carr were the only Raiders out for Wednesday’s practice, though there were several limited participants.

That list includes quarterback Matt McGloin, who suffered a left shoulder/neck injury due to an illegal hit from the Broncos. It was uncertain how much work McGloin would get, but he was active with the second unit during portions of practice open to the press. Health was part of the reason the Raiders decided to start Connor Cook, though the rookie also outperformed McGloin at Denver.

The Raiders are hoping McGloin can be active as a backup against Houston, which would seem likely if he’s active again on Thursday. Recently signed practice squad passer Garrett Gilbert would be an emergency option if McGloin can’t go.

Safety Karl Joseph was limited, though he is expected to play on Saturday. Backup Bryden Trawick is also getting prepped should Joseph suffer a setback and Allen not pass through the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Raiders participation report
Did not practice:
QB Derek Carr (ankle), S Nate Allen (concussion), LT Donald Penn (knee)
Limited participation: LG Kelechi Osemele (ankle) S Karl Joseph (toe), WR Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring), QB Matt McGloin (shoulder)
Full participation:DT Stacy McGee (groin), OT Austin Howard (shoulder)

Texans participation report
Did not participate:
QB Tom Savage (concussion), OLB John Simon (chest)
Limited participation: G Jeff Allen (ankle), CB A.J. Bouye (groin), OT Chris Clark (ankle), S Quentin Demps (hamstring), FB Jay Prosch (ankle/knee)
Full participation: DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow/wrist), OLB Brian Cushing (ankle), TE Ryan Griffith (quad), CB Kareem Jackson (neck), S Don Jones (elbow), CB Johnathan Joseph (ribs/shoulder), RB Lamar Miller (ankle), K Nick Novak (shoulder)

Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies


Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

Former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. He was 56.

The Minnesota Vikings announced his passing, though an exact cause of death is unknown.

He was the Vikings offensive line coach, a position he held since 2016. Sparano had been an NFL coach for nearly two decades, with stints in Oakland and San Francisco. He was also Miami's head coach from 2008-11.

He was hired to run the Raiders offensive line in 2013, and was promoted to interim head coach after Dennis Allen was fired four games into the 2014 campaign.

Sparano showed well in that role, kept the team playing hard during a difficult 3-13 season and nearly had the interim tag removed. He was a finalist for 2015 head coaching job, though Jack Del Rio ultimately got the job.

He left the organization then, and spent the 2015 season as 49ers tight ends coach. He ended up in Minnesota after that.

Sparano helped the Raiders finished 2014 with a three wins over their final six games, which started an upward trend that carried through 2016. He also remained patient with then-rookie starter Derek Carr.

Left tackle Donald Penn joined the Raiders in 2014, and experienced a career renaissance that season under Sparano.

The Silver and Black mourned Sparano's loss.

"The Raiders family was deeply saddened to learn of Tony Sparano's passing this morning," the team said in a statement. "Tony had a deep passion for football and was embraced by the Raider Nation during his time with the Silver and Black. Tony will be sadly missed by the entire NFL community. Our hearts are with (his wife) Jeanette and the Sparano family during this extremely difficult time."

The 49ers also paid respects to the longtime NFL coach.

“The 49ers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Sparano,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We share our heartfelt condolences with the Sparano family and the Minnesota Vikings.”

Sparano is survived by his wife Jeanette, their three children and four grandchildren.

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party


Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.  

Raider Nation showed up in droves. 

In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.

"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."

The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson. 

Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee. 

Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing. 

Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen. 

Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back.