ALAMEDA – Donald Penn has been pushing hard to return from a groin injury originally suffered in a Week 4 victory over Cleveland. The Raiders are so bad he easily could’ve decelerated his rehab and called it a season.
Nope. The veteran offensive tackle wasn’t going to do it. He wanted to come all the way back.
The Raiders opened a window to do so Wednesday, designating him to return off injured reserve.
Public service announcement: That doesn’t necessarily mean that he will.
[RELATED: Raiders to face Steelers]
A 21-day practice window has opened for Penn to prove himself ready for game action. He’ll have to do that, and the Raiders must agree his health as returned before formal reinstatement.
He is eligible to play starting Sunday and over the next three games. If his practice window expires, the Raiders must decide whether to activate him or put him back on season-ending IR.
The Raiders used their first IR designation to return on Justin Ellis, with the second now used on Penn. That mean’s Marshawn Lynch’s season is over. Though it’s ultimately uncertain, it’s possible Lynch has played his last down as a Raider and in the NFL.
Penn wants to play in 2018 and see out the rest of his contract before retirement. His current deal, renegotiated in training camp, has $1.75 million of his $7.225 million contract in 2019 guaranteed.
While head coach Jon Gruden said a knee ailment put Doug Martin’s availability Sunday against Pittsburgh in question, he was able to practice Wednesday afternoon.
Raiders practice report
Did not practice
LB Kyle Wilber (hamstring)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle, knee)
DE Arden key (knee)
Maurice Hurst (ankle)
DE Frostee Rucker (neck)
CB Daryl Worley (shoulder)
OG Kelechi Osemele (toe)
RB Doug Martin (knee)
WR Jordy Nelson (foot)
Steelers practice report
Did not practice
CB Joe Haden (coach decision)
RB James Conner (ankle)
C Maurkice Pouncey (coach decision)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
OT Marcus Gilbert (knee)
WR Antonio Brown (coach decision)
WR Ryan Switzer (concussion)
S Morgan Burnett (back)
LS Kameron Canaday (knee)