Raiders

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner on track to play vs. Chiefs

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner on track to play vs. Chiefs

ALAMEDA – Lamarcus Joyner hasn’t played a game or practiced much since pulling up lame late in a Week 10 victory over the LA Chargers.

They have dearly missed their slot cornerback and defensive co-captain, a point made clear watching the New York Jets take chunk yards on slants and crosses across the middle of the field. No Joyner and no Karl Joseph really hurt the Raiders in New York.

While Joseph is done for the year, Joyner is on the mend and is coming ever closer to a return.

He was a limited participant in a Wednesday walk-through practice conducted off-site to avoid inclement weather and saturated Raiders practice fields.

He has been limited before, but the Raiders are cautiously optimistic he’ll be ready to go Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We hope to have him back,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “He took some turns today and got the game plan. He’s been out for a couple weeks now, which has really been a big deal for us. You know when you lose two safeties, your nickel, and your linebackers, it’s been tough, but we do think he has a real good chance to play.”

Nevin Lawson struggled mightily against the Jets in Joyner's place, and the Raiders need to be better inside against a talented Chiefs receiver corps.

Center Rodney Hudson was listed as a non-participant on the Raiders’ practice report Wednesday, which was technically an estimation after only doing a walk-through. There’s no real concern over Hudson’s health, considering the team waived third center Erik Magnuson later than afternoon. They wouldn’t go into a game without that emergency option if Hudson was in real jeopardy.

Renfrow ‘week-to-week’

Receiver Hunter Renfrow has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with rib and lung injuries, and Gruden said the team will be cautious with Renfrow moving forward even if that means he doesn’t return in 2019.

“We’re not going to mess around with the rib, lung area,” Gruden said. “But right now, he won’t play against the Chiefs. I know he wants to play. He feels good, but until we get the green light from the training staff, he won’t play.”

Why Raiders moved practice off-site

The Raiders chose to practice at an indoor facility in Alameda over their rain-drenched practice fields, which don’t always drain well after heavy rains. Gruden said there were several reasons why it seemed smart to move the Wednesday session, which has been lighter and more mentally focused as the season has progressed.

“The fields obviously had something to do with it,” Gruden said. “The trainer had something to do with it. We needed an extra day for some guys and we have to make some adjustments on our roster obviously. So, we took advantage of a great facility and we got a lot of reps, a lot of teaching done, and we’ll be back at it out here [Thursday].”

[RELATED: Raiders' run game must improve vs. vulnerable Chiefs D]

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)

Limited practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)

Full practice
OT Trent Brown (knee)

NOTE: The Raiders conducted a walk-through practice on Wednesday. Therefore, the participation report is an estimation.

Damarious Randall, Raiders agree to terms after Eli Apple pact dissolves

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AP

Damarious Randall, Raiders agree to terms after Eli Apple pact dissolves

The Raiders fell into some unexpected salary-cap space Thursday when their deal with Eli Apple dissolved. They wasted no time putting it to use.

They kept the investment in the secondary, agreeing on terms of a contract with defensive back Damarious Randall on Thursday night. That news comes via ESPN’s Josina Anderson, who said Randall texted her directly with news of the deal.

The 27-year old played free safety his last two years with the Cleveland Browns and cornerback the previous three with the Green Bay Packers.

Randall could pair with Johnathan Abram at safety or play outside cornerback, if that’s what is required. The Raiders have needs at both spots.

Randall and Abram seem like an ideal mix at safety, though the Raiders desperately need a starting outside cornerback opposite Trayvon Mullen. That position could get filled with remaining funds in free agency or with one of two first-round NFL draft picks.

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The 27-year-old Randall’s a proven commodity, with 16 interceptions in five NFL seasons. He didn’t have a pick last year but had four in every season before that.

Randall was traded from Green Bay to Cleveland before the 2018 season and was solid in coverage with the Browns. He was awesome in 2018, with four interceptions, five passes defensed and he allowed just a 68.8 passer rating when targeted.

The Raiders' secondary is better with Randall than it would’ve been with Apple in the mix, so this should be considered a win for the Silver and Black after a strange and unexpected turn of events.

[RELATED: McKinney headlines top DB prospects for Raiders to target]

Las Vegas has three solid pieces of its secondary with Randall, Abram and Mullen. Lamarcus Joyner is expected to man the slot again in 2020, with just one more void left to fill.

The Raiders have upgraded several defensive positions, including some at every level of the unit. The team should be significantly better on that side of the ball, especially if they hit on a defensive player high in the draft.

Source: Eli Apple, Raiders don't finalize contract in free agency

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USATSI

Source: Eli Apple, Raiders don't finalize contract in free agency

The Raiders agreed in principle on terms of a one-year deal with Eli Apple last month. It was worth $6 million, bringing the former first-round pick into the Silver and Black’s defensive backfield.

A league source with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the agreement on March 18, but the deal never came across the transaction wire as many other Raiders additions had. Turns out there was a good reason for that.

The deal was never finalized, and now it never will be. The pact has been dissolved, a league source confirmed Thursday, making Apple an unrestricted free agent once again. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news. An inabilty to get a physical was at issue, though it's uncertain at this time if a deadline was missed. 

The money earmarked for Apple is now Raiders' salary-cap space moving forward, leaving roughly $11 million remaining at this stage. The Silver and Black need $9.4 million to sign their draft picks as currently slotted, per Over the Cap.

Apple was set to be an option to start at outside cornerback opposite Travyon Mullen, thought he didn’t eliminate the team’s need at the position. The Raiders were expected to add one in the draft, quite possibly in the first round.

[RELATED: Why Nick Kwiatkoski thought Raiders were 'best fit' in NFL free agency]

That could certainly happen now, and as early as No. 12 overall, as the Silver and Black look for a plug-and-play option from the college ranks.

There are some veteran options on the market, including last year’s starter Daryl Worley. The Cincinnati Bengals cut Dre Kirkpatrick this week, and he knows Paul Guenther’s defense from their time together in Cincinnati. Logan Ryan, Aqib Talib and Prince Amukamara also remain on the open market.

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