Injury report: Smith says 'No. 21 is ready' to play; will Raiders agree?

Injury report: Smith says 'No. 21 is ready' to play; will Raiders agree?

ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback is considered questionable to play Sunday night’s home game against Denver, per the team’s official injury report.

Smith wants to play this primetime game pretty bad. The secondary certainly needs him against the likes of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but a left shoulder injured early in Week 8’s overtime victory over Tampa Bay called his availability into question.

Smith was able to practice in a limited capacity Thursday and Friday using a supportive harness and believes he’s ready to go against Denver.

“I’m ready,” Smith said. “That’s all anybody needs to know. No. 21 is ready.”

Whether Raiders coaches and trainers agree is another matter. They’ll make the final determination before Sunday night’s game.

Smith said his practice week went well, and that the injury wasn’t as bad as it played on TV, when his arm seemed to jam back out of its socket on the second defensive play against the Buccaneers. Smith didn’t return in that game.

“It probably looked worse than what it really was,” Smith said. “I’m good. I’ve been in this game a long time. A little shoulder (issue) ain’t going to hurt nobody.”

The Raiders need all hands on deck against quality Broncos receivers, but Smith has confidence that his group can get the job done.

“We want to disrupt the timing of routes,” Smith said. “If you can get a hand on them, that’s going to help out. As good as they are, it’s not really about them. We feel that we have a great game plan in place. We just have to give those guys up front time to rush the quarterback. If we play our technique and stay on top, we’re going to all right.”


-- The Raiders ruled defensive tackle Stacy McGee out of a second straight game with an ankle injury.

-- Receiver Amari Cooper was limited in each practice this week with a back strain and is formally questionable, but is expected to play.

-- Offensive linemen Rodney Hudson and Kelechi Osemele were also questionable are expected to play.

-- Austin Howard should make a fourth straight start at right tackle versus Denver.

Broncos Status Report

CB Aqib Talib (back)
C Matt Paradis (hip), CB Kayvon Webster (hamstring), ILB Brandon Marshall (hamstring)

NOTE: Denver’s CB Chris Harris Jr. (not injury related), S Darian Stewart (not injury related), S T.J. Ward (not injury related), OLB Shaq Barrett (shoulder), RB Devontae Booker (shoulder), FB Andy Janovich (hand), QB Trevor Siemian (shoulder), OLB DeMarcus Ware (forearm) and NT Sylvester Williams (ankle) did not receive an injury designation, meaning they will play.

Raiders Status Report

DL Stacy McGee (knee)
RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OT Menelik Watson (calf), LG Kelechi Osemele (knee), C Rodney Hudson (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), FB Jamize Olawale (ankle), CB Sean Smith (shoulder), RT Vadal Alexander (ankle)

NOTE: Oakland LT Donald Penn (not injury related) did not receive an injury designation, meaning they will play.


Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Antonio Brown's agent hopes his client is a trendsetter. 

Despite Brown having three years left on his contract deal and the trade necessitating a massive amount of dead money on their books, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for just a third- and fifth-round pick. Drew Rosenhaus thinks the deal could set a precedent for players under contract who are unhappy in their current situation. 

“What I hope it does is maybe bring some more balance," Rosenhaus told NBC Sports' Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. "There aren’t many players like Antonio Brown but perhaps—and I’m not suggesting that everybody go out and try to renegotiate their deal or ask for a trade—but I hope it gives players more leverage throughout the league.

"I hope it gives agents more confidence that they can affect something in a way that can make a positive change for their clients. Maybe this is a deal that’s bigger than just one particular contract.”

As Rosenhaus himself notes, Brown is a unique case. He is one of the very best players at his position, catching at least 100 passes for at least 1,200 yards and at least eight touchdowns in each of the past six seasons. Brown made the Pro Bowl in each of those years, and was first-team All-Pro every season from 2014 to 2017. 

Furthermore, his relationship with the Steelers was especially strained. Beginning with his Facebook Live stream from inside the Pittsburgh locker room in 2017 and culminating with his benching in Week 17 last season, it became clear that Brown's relationship with the Steelers was no longer tenable. A player without Brown's pedigree likely wouldn't have had the same leash before the Steelers ultimately decided to part ways. 

[RELATED: Brown takes jab at Bills for false rumors]

Still, Brown's trade definitely represents a departure from business as usual in the NFL. This is an owner-driven and owner-dominated league, where player contracts are not guaranteed and the average career lasts about three years. The Brown saga, frankly, was far more NBA-like. 

If football players begin to have more power like their basketball peers, Brown's trade to the Raiders would mark a clear turning point. 

Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team


Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

Rashaan Melvin said his goodbyes to the Raiders after the Lions announced a deal that would bring the cornerback to the team.

But Melvin's farewell to the Silver and Black was a bit of a sad one. Melvin said he felt as though he cheated the fans:

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Im thankful for every opportunity God has placed in my life. We all must go through some things to get to what is actually meant for us. I greatly appreciate the Oakland organization for giving me the opportunity to further my career this past season. I respect the raiders organization, I respect the tradition, and I respect the die hard fans that has and will forever believe in raider nation. I feel like I cheated the fans, and organization, and a long list of players that came before me that made the organization what it is. It was always a life time dream of mine to wear the silver and black. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to be myself, and play the style of play that I know I was capable of playing. To all my guys in that locker room I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything. I cherish the relationships that were created on and off the field. I respect you guys, and I wish you boy’s the best!! Y’all ball out for the City of Oakland 1 more time or for however long y’all there! Respect!! #22 #raidernation ✊🏾✊🏾

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This, of course, appeared to be more of him not feeling as though he played to his potential. Playing for the Raiders had been a dream of his.

Melvin only started in seven games last season which could be partly why he's feeling the way he's feeling. 

"To all my guys in the locker room, I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything."