Notes: Raiders QB McGloin undergoes MRI on 'sore' left shoulder

Notes: Raiders QB McGloin undergoes MRI on 'sore' left shoulder

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin didn’t last long in Sunday’s loss to Denver. He injured his left (non-throwing) shoulder in the second quarter on an illegal hit from Broncos defensive end Jared Crick and didn’t return.

He had an MRI on Monday morning, and head coach Jack Del Rio said trainers didn’t tell him about any significant damage.

“I know he had an MRI, but usually if there’s a problem, they come up and let me know,” Del Rio said. “I think it’s just sore. I think it was banged pretty good and just sore.”

NFL Network reported Sunday night that McGloin's injury focuses on his trapezius muscle, which acts like a pinched nerve. 

It’s uncertain at this stage how many practice reps McGloin will be able to take. The Raiders would prefer McGloin’s experience in the Raiders system and starting NFL games in Saturday’s playoff showdown at Houston. Fourth-round rookie Connor Cook is the next option. He relieved McGloin Sunday and flashed good play and bad in his first NFL game.

“We’ll see how the week goes,” Del Rio said. “Between Connor and Matt, we’ll see who we can get the most reps, who we feel the most comfortable going into the game.”

Del Rio made it clear health will be a major factor in choosing a starter. When he informs that player is another matter. It may not come early in the week, as they find a proper time to let McGloin heal or let Cook marinate on one huge start.

“There are two ways of looking at it, so I think obviously the weight of, ‘Oh my gosh, this is your first start and it’s going to be a playoff game,’ that’s a big one to bite off,” Del Rio said. “Whether that is the case or whether (Cook) comes in in a backup role, we’ll see.

“We’re going to work through the week the best we can, see what we have health-wise with our team and then make that determination.”

Raiders banged up heading into playoffs: The Raiders aren’t in great physical shape heading into Saturday’s wild card round game against the Texans.

Safety Nate Allen is in the league’s concussion protocol after going down in the first quarter on Sunday. His playing status is uncertain, though Del Rio said regular starter Karl Joseph is nearing a return. He was expected to make a playoff return, which would be welcome on this Raiders defense.

Defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. was supposed to increase his snap count in a second game back off injured reserve, but he was held back due to illness.

Left tackle Donald Penn suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but returned late in the game and said on social media he would be fine. Left guard Kelechi Osemele missed one snap, but was seen with ice on a knee and an ankle. Both guys might miss some practice but should play.

Carr not expected to make Houston trip: Injured starting quarterback Derek Carr did not travel with the Raiders to Denver while recovering from ankle surgery. Del Rio said he isn’t expected to make the Houston trip, either.

Raiders sign two to futures contracts: The Raiders signed linebackers Andy Mulumba and Dwayne Norman to reserve futures contracts. Those deals will kick in next offseason.

NFL picks: Raiders vs. Dolphins Week 3 score predictions

NFL picks: Raiders vs. Dolphins Week 3 score predictions

The Raiders (0-2) make the long trip to South Beach to take on the Dolphins (2-0) Sunday in Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season.

Oakland had a chance to pick up their first win last week against the Broncos, but squandered a fourth-quarter lead and lost on late Denver kicker Brandon McManus field goal. Head coach Jon Gruden is looking for more out of his pass rush and hoping linebacker Bruce Irvin can step up.

The Dolphins are coming off a 20-12 win over the Jets in New York last weekend. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes while running back Kenyan Drake ran for 53 yards and one touchdown.

Paul Gutierrez, Raiders 24, Dolphins 23

Cameron Wolfe, Dolphins 26, Raiders 20

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Dolphins 23, Raiders 16

Elliot Harrison, Dolphins 26, Raiders 20

Brad Weiss, Just Blog Baby: Dolphins 28, Raiders 24

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Dolphins 24, Raiders 20

Four Raiders to watch in Sunday's game vs. Dolphins

Four Raiders to watch in Sunday's game vs. Dolphins

MIAMI -- The Raiders have held second-half leads twice in as many games, without a victory to show for it. Jon Gruden’s consequently off to an 0-2 start running a team that can’t seem to finish well enough.

Game plans have been good, but the competition has been tough. The L.A. Rams surged using superior talent and force in the regular-season opener. The Broncos, though…Raiders had several opportunities to close that one out and couldn’t. There’s plenty of blame to go around for those second-half letdowns.

The pass rush is took a beating this week for failing to pressure well enough, which consequently extends the life of Khalil Mack trade talk. Penalties and a key dropped pass – nobody feels worse than fullback Keith Smith – came into play against the Broncos.

Quarterback Derek Carr said on this week’s Raiders Insider Podcast, “taking away two boneheaded plays by me,” and maybe the Rams game goes different.

Those results are etched in stone. All the Raiders can do is perform better Sunday here in Miami, where heat, humidity and a chance of thunderstorms await a team forced to wear black jerseys.

Here are four Raiders to watch as the Silver and Black try to avoid an 0-3 start.

Bruce Irvin

The Raiders’ best edge rusher hasn’t started the season particularly well. He has a strip sack and a quarterback hit and…no other pressures in two games. Those two plays made an impact, and no much else beyond it. He hurt the team’s chances against Denver with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty extending a Broncos scoring drive after the Raiders stopped it on third down.

The Raiders are looking to him to step up and not fill Mack’s shoes – few, if any, could do that – but generate steady pressure off the edge. That hasn’t happened yet but needs to here in Miami. He’ll have a tough task against Miami left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who has allowed but one quarterback pressure all year.

“We need to get more out of our captain,” Gruden said. “He’s been put in some tough spots, certainly. He’s a good player and has played some good snaps. We need more and more from him. I know he’s giving us everything he has. It’s tough on him because we have a lot of new guys around him up front, but we’re happy he’s here.”

[How to watch Raiders-Dolphins]

Jordy Nelson

Tight end Jared Cook exploded for a franchise record (for a tight end) 180 receiving yards in the opener. Amari Cooper roared after a less-than-impactful opening game, totaling 10 catches for 116 yards on as many targets against Denver.

Nelson has been relatively quiet in both games, with just five catches and 53 yards to his credit. Could this be Nelson’s first big game in Silver and Black. If the matchups dictate, as they did for Cook and Cooper in consecutive weeks. The Raiders need Nelson as a steadying presence, especially on third down. He will find a rhythm in this offense eventually. Starting Sunday could help his team get on the right track.

“There was improvement from Week 1 to Week 2 individually and as a whole,” Nelson said. “It’s all about matchups and opportunities. Jared had a great game in Week 1 and Cooper had one in Week 2, so maybe I’m next up this week. We’ll see.”

Erik Harris

The rangy safety hasn’t played much defense in his NFL career. He was labeled a special teams player before 2018 but Gruden’s staff saw more in him starting with the offseason. He failed to secure a starting spot over Reggie Nelson and/or Marcus Gilchrist to begin the year, but he played 26 defensive snaps in Denver after playing two since his Raiders tenure started in 2017.

Harris looked good working in, with a few one-on-one, open-field tackles that impressed many. He allowed just one four-yard catch on the day, and could earn more playing time as the season carries forward.

That’s especially true if Reggie Nelson struggles in coverage. Coaches love Nelson’s smarts and assistance getting the team lined up properly, but Harris provide long speed, range and sure tackling that could prove helpful against the Dolphins.

“He has been playing good,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “He’s real smart. He understands the ins and outs of the defense. He earned his right to play. Like I’ve been saying in the past, I’m going to utilize all the personnel I have. I think you’ll see some more of that on Sunday.”

Marshawn Lynch

The Raiders don’t have a proven defensive closer now that Khalil Mack works in Chicago. They have one, however, on offense. Lynch can go full BeastMode late in games and grind out tough yards that continually move the chains. He was on a roll late in that Denver game, but Cook’s false start took them off schedule and messed up Lynch’s flow.

He had great rhythm last time the Raiders were in Miami, rumbling for 57 yards on 14 carries, notching two touchdowns and four first downs in the process.

He’s only averaging 3.7 yards per carry thus far, though penalties have negated some big runs and coaches believe he’s in great shape and has a big game on the immediate horizon.

“I know this, he’s extremely hard to tackle still,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “He almost popped out a big one last week again. He’s a dangerous guy to deal with. He’s a big man that does not like to touch the ground. I’ve seen him way too much it seems like.”

Gase might see him a lot on Sunday.

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