Raiders

Raiders injury report: Rodney Hudson, Andre James hopeful for Week 9

hudsonus.jpg
AP

Raiders injury report: Rodney Hudson, Andre James hopeful for Week 9

ALAMEDA – Raiders centers Rodney Hudson and Andre James didn’t practice Thursday, missing their second workout in as many days.

That has left guard Richie Incognito to take snaps at center, along with recently signed center Erik Magnuson. That’s not an ideal situation, but offensive coordinator Greg Olson isn’t too worried about it.

“[It’s] really not that high, to be honest with you,” Olson said after Thursday’s practice. “Both Rodney and Andre were out there today. They both felt good. They looked good walking around. They’ve given us indication that there’s a good chance they’ll be out there tomorrow.”

That’s still ultimately uncertain, especially for Hudson. James is a bit of a wild card, with the severity of his ankle issue ultimately unknown.

Incognito is Plan C, but the veteran has played some there in the past. For Olson, as a matter of fact.

“He played center when I was with the St. Louis Rams, a long time ago,” Olson said. “And he played it very well. He got some work there today. That’s a credit to the people that assemble the team to have so many versatile linemen.”

[RELATED: Playoffs?! Long road trip showed Raiders what is possible]

Safety Erik Harris missed Thursday’s workout with an illness, but his playing status is no major cause for concern at this stage. That’s a good thing considering the Raiders are thin at his position with demoted former starter Curtis Riley as the primary backup. Harris and Karl Joseph have played almost every defensive snap the past four games.

Raiders practice report

THURSDAY
Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
C Andre James (ankle)
DE Josh Mauro (groin)
S Erik Harris (illness)

Limited practice
DT PJ Hall (shoulder)
RT Trent Brown (calf)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
LB Tahir Whitehead (shoulder/wrist)

Full practice
OT Trent Brown (calf)
OG Gabe Jackson (knee)
WR Tyrell Williams (foot)

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
C Andre James (ankle)
DE Josh Mauro (groin)

Limited practice
WR Tyrell Williams (foot)
RT Trent Brown (calf)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
LB Tahir Whitehead (shoulder/wrist)

Full practice
OT Trent Brown (calf)
OG Gabe Jackson (knee)

Boo birds chirp as Derek Carr, Raiders offense continues downward slide

derekcarrgroundtitansusatsi.jpg
USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES

Boo birds chirp as Derek Carr, Raiders offense continues downward slide

OAKLAND – The Raiders offense was humming to start Sunday’s game against Tennessee. They found end zones on three of four first-half drives, and entered the break tied with the Titans.

Then the wheels came off. The offense never scored during a disastrous second half featuring four punts, a lost fumble and a turnover on downs following a fourth-and-goal throwaway. Things never got better in another terrible result ending with a 42-21 loss to the Titans at Oakland Coliseum.

The tide turned in the third quarter, after consecutive, fruitless three-and-outs. After the second one, boo birds came out. They were chirping a bit before that, but voiced displeasure in unison. Fans were frustrated with the offense and seemed bothered most by Derek Carr’s play in particular at that point.

They didn’t like the optics of Carr tossing a pass out of bounds on fourth down, even with time winding down and the game out of reach.

Home fans have booed Carr before. They can be short-tempered, especially when things aren’t going right.

Carr put the boos in perspective, and therefore didn’t take them personally after a third-straight blowout loss.

“It’s happened before. You play here long enough and that will occur,” Carr said. “We have a rowdy group and that’s why we love them. They’re passionate, and they just want to win. It’s just like family. Even when they’re mad at you, they still want to hug you. They still want you to do well. I understand that frustration. I think I showed some emotion, too. I don’t think anything of it. It has happened for six years.”

Carr’s final line looks pretty nice. He completed 25-of-34 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns and no picks, good for a 115.2 passer rating. The outcome and second-half fade didn’t feel quite as good, but the Raiders were proud of their quarterback’s effort in a third consecutive blowout loss.

“I think he played really well today, Carr did, given what’s going on around him,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “I think there’s a big story there. At least we recognize it. We’re really proud of the way he’s competing and performing with all the moving pieces.”

Gruden’s referring to the offensive injuries piling up over the last few weeks, with a list of key players sidelined for Sunday’s game. Running back Josh Jacobs finally succumbed to a shoulder injury after playing through it since Week 7. Right tackle Trent Brown is down with a pectoral injury. Receiver Hunter Renfrow is down another game at least with rib injuries and a punctured lung. Foster Moreau suffered a knee injury in this one and might be done for the year. That’s another huge blow to the offense, and it’s surely impacting execution and an ability to sustain drives.

Carr didn’t want to hear that and didn’t want injury setbacks to excuse poor play.

“This game is next man up,” Carr said. “Nobody cares about our situation. Nobody cares who is playing. Nobody cares who has been here, who has not been here. The people who have played this position, played that. I have learned that in my six years. Nobody cares. We didn’t win the football game and it is what it is.”

The Raiders haven’t won since Nov. 17, when they beat the Bengals at home. They have been outscored 116-33 since. It sure seems like the Raiders have run out of gas down the stretch, unable to perform to earlier levels due to attrition and lack of execution. They can look good in spurts – take the first half versus Tennessee for example – but can’t sustain it.

The Raiders have struggled on both sides of the ball and have hit a rough patch they might not leave before the season’s out.

“We’re a tight football team that is competing hard,” Gruden said. “We’re missing some of the players that helped us win those three straight games. The Golden State Warriors are going through a similar process. It’s not as easy to win when you’re not playing with your frontline guys. It works out for the development of some young players, but it’s on me. It’s my responsibility to fix it and it certainly doesn’t look good the last few weeks.”

Raiders shocked, searching for answers after yet another ugly loss

carrwallergrudensadraiderstitansusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Raiders shocked, searching for answers after yet another ugly loss

OAKLAND -- In the NFL, things can turn in an instance. 

Three weeks ago, the Raiders were the darlings of the NFL, having used a three-game winning streak to catapult themselves into the AFC playoff picture. They were headed on the road to face a Jets team that has a myriad of issues. A 7-4 record and a date with the Chiefs to decide the AFC West was in their sites. 

Things didn't go according to plan. 

The Raiders were ripped limb from limb by the Jets, and then headed to Kansas City where the Chiefs bullied them all around a freezing Arrowhead Stadium to drop Oakland to 6-6. 

So the Raiders returned home, needing a win Sunday against the Titans to stop the bleeding and keep realistic playoff dreams alive. Instead, the Raiders were torched by Ryan Tannehill as the Titans strolled to a 42-21 win at the Coliseum. 

A third straight dud has left the Raiders stunned and searching for answers. 

"That's how things happen in this league," guard Richie Incognito said. "We got home after the big road test, we got the three in a row, in my opinion, we probably weren't playing our best ball during that three-week stretch but we were winning. Then we take the trip over to New York and get exposed, went to Kansas City and they jumped on us and then today. I'm pretty shocked that we are in this position." 

The losses have been deflating and embarrassing. It hasn't been death by 1,000 cuts, but three gigantic gashes that have left the Raiders bleeding out hoping for a miracle to snag an AFC playoff spot that appeared to be theirs three weeks ago. 

The Raiders are banged up and missing bodies. Of that, there is no doubt. Josh Jacobs didn't play Sunday and neither did right tackle Trent Brown. Starting safeties Johnathan Abram and Karl Joseph are done for the season. Middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict hasn't been allowed out of the principal's office since a Week 4 hit against the Colts that the NFL deemed a season-ender.

Eventually, it's too much to overcome. It's too much to ask guys who just came in off the street to be meaningful contributors to a playoff run. 

But no one wants to hear excuses. 

"It comes with the territory," linebacker Tahir Whitehead said of the injuries. "It comes with the game. We've had a lot of adversity this season, but you have to go in there with that next man mentality. No matter what. No one cares what you have to go through during the week. No one cares how many injuries and as much as it matters as far as getting guys ready ... no one gives a s--t."

A once-promising season has been nuked by a non-competitive streak that has seen the Raiders outscored 116-33 and look helpless in the process. The defense has been dissected every way possible and the offense has lacked a punch that would strike fear into any creature with even a faint pulse. 

[RELATED: Jacobs 'in tears' when Raiders made him inactive vs. Titans]

The Raiders might be searching for answers, but they are unlikely to find any that will appease their desperate minds. 

There will be no magic elixir to save the Raiders from the disappointing reality of letting a golden playoff opportunity slip away. 

Coach Jon Gruden can't scheme the Raiders healthy or make them more talented. They simply are what they are. 

But no one wants to hear excuses for laying an egg with the season on the line. That's inexcusable.