ALAMEDA – The Raiders fortified their linebacker corps this week after getting three members hurt in a Week 3 loss to Minnesota.
New guy Dakota Allen is adjusting to a new scheme and environment and practice squad promotion Justin Phillips is a work in progress, so the Raiders would obviously prefer to keep the top options on the field Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
That’s certainly possible after Vontaze Burfict (elbow/shoulder/knee) and Nicholas Morrow (ankle) practiced each day this week. Both guys went from limited practice to full participation Friday and formally were taken off Friday’s injury report.
They did not receive a designation, meaning they’re healthy enough to play. Head coach Jon Gruden said the outlook isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than at the start of this practice week.
“Still sketchy, but I’m encouraged,” Gruden said. “Burfict’s practice looked better today. Morrow practiced, so we are encouraged by that.”
Allen still should see action, even with the regulars healthy enough to go. The Raiders need depth at linebacker, especially with so many dealing with ailments.
Right tackle Trent Brown is questionable but is expected to play. Right guard Jordan Devey’s status is up in the air due to a groin injury, though Denzelle Good will step in if he can’t go.
Defensive tackle Corey Liuget will remain a last-minute decision heading into Sunday. He’s still waiting to make his debut after signing late in the preseason and dealing with a knee injury in recent weeks.
“You got to be smart, you just don’t want to bring the guy and put him out there before he’s ready,” Gruden said. “He’s had now two and a half, three weeks to learn the system and get himself ready. And we’ll meet with him and the trainers on the airplane and we’ll see where he is, but we surely could use him inside.”
The Colts were dealt some significant blows on the injury front. Linebacker Darius Leonard was ruled out with concussion-like symptoms, and star receiver T.Y. Hilton formally is doubtful with a quadriceps injury aggravated in Week 3.
RG Gabe Jackson (knee)
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
RT Trent Brown (knee)
OG Jordan Devey (groin)
S Malik Hooker (knee)
LB Darius Leonard (concussion)
DE Jabaal Sheard (knee)
WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps)
CB Pierre Desir (hamstring)
DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (neck)
DE Jabaal Sheard (knee)