Gareon Conley

Raiders-Chiefs injury report: Gareon Conley, Maurice Hurst questionable

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AP

Raiders-Chiefs injury report: Gareon Conley, Maurice Hurst questionable

ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley was a limited participant in practice last week, but wasn’t able to clear the concussion protocol in time to play the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

He worked every session this week, but did everything Friday. That’s a positive sign, though he’s still considered questionable to play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Conley isn’t all the way through the protocol.

“He has one more step, but today was a good sign,” coach Jon Gruden said Friday. “But I can’t comment any further than that.”

The odds of Conley playing are better, but not set. The same can be said for defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, who has battled an ankle injury all month. He has missed two of the past three games, though he’s trying to return for the season finale.

He has been missed on the inside, both as a pass rusher and run defender. Getting him back would help slow Kansas City’s interior runs, and improve a lackluster Raiders pass rush that has applied more pressure lately.

[RELATED: Raiders should add dynamic, ballhawk safety in free agency or NFL draft]

The Raiders also won’t have defensive back Montrel Meander available, though he hasn’t been active since being signed off the Cleveland Browns practice squad.

Here’s the full injury report for the Raiders and Chiefs ahead of Week 17:

Raiders Injury Report

Out
DB Montrel Meander (quadriceps)

Questionable
DT Maurice Hurst (ankle)
CB Gareon Conley (concussion)

[RELATED: Raiders rookie Arden Key gaining more experience than expected]

Chiefs Injury Report

Out
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

Questionable
S Eric Berry (heel)
CB Kendall Fuller (thumb)
RB Spencer Ware (hamstring)
RB Darrel Williams (hamstring)

Raiders starting cornerbacks Daryl Worley, Gareon Conley out vs. Broncos

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AP

Raiders starting cornerbacks Daryl Worley, Gareon Conley out vs. Broncos

The Raiders will be without both of their cornerbacks tonight against the Broncos in Oakland. 

Hour before kickoff, the Raiders ruled Gareon Conley out with a concussion. But that was only the beginning. The team then placed Daryl Worley on injured reserve due to shoulder issues. 

Conley is tied for the team lead in interceptions with two while Worley has one on the year. Through 14 games, the Raiders only have 11 interceptions, which is tied for 20th in the NFL. 

The Broncos have the 23rd-ranked passing offense in the NFL this season as starting quarterback Case Keenum has thrown for 3,396 yards with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in win over Steelers

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in win over Steelers

OAKLAND — Raiders fans haven’t had much to celebrate this season. Their team has been terrible, easily among the NFL’s worst, lacking the talent required to win consistently.

On Sunday, they gave this long-suffering fan base a reason to cheer.

The Raiders eliminated two fourth-quarter deficits and beat the Steelers 24-21 in dramatic fashion at the Coliseum. Tight end Derek Carrier’s game-winning touchdown catch came on fourth-and-goal, with 21 seconds remaining.

The Raiders are playing better football lately and, as you’ll see in this report card, showing encouraging signs that the team can turn things around under coach Jon Gruden:

Rushing Offense

The Raiders weren’t able to get much going on the ground.

They averaged just 2.2 yards per carry against a tough Steelers defensive front, and running backs Doug Martin and Jalen Richard were stuck in the mud. The Raiders will need better balance in future weeks.

Grade: C-minus

Passing Offense

Derek Carr was awesome in this game, with 322 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 73.5 completion percentage. He orchestrated two fourth-quarter scoring drives, including the game winner with time winding down.

Carr was his best in that final period, slinging the ball all over the place with confidence and aggression. He threaded several needles, making tough throws in tight windows to keep the offense moving. He was as good as his stellar 2016 campaign, when he was a legitimate NFL MVP candidate.

Oh, and he hasn’t thrown an interception in eight-plus games. An incredible run for a quarterback who’s clearly getting comfortable working within Gruden’s offense.

Grade: A-plus

Rushing Defense

The Raiders didn’t face James Conner, who missed the game with an ankle injury. That clearly was a plus, considering the Steelers weren’t able to get much going on the ground.

Pittsburgh had just 40 yards on 19 carries in what was the Oakland run defense’s best performance to date.

Grade: A

Pass Defense

Gareon Conley is really evolving into an excellent cover cornerback. He had another tip that resulted in an interception, which is becoming a regular occurrence these days.

Conley blanketed Antonio Brown all day, holding the Steelers’ elite receiver to five catches for just 35 yards. That’s a win, even though JuJu Smith-Schuster had a big day with 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Grade: C

Special Teams

Daniel Carlson has become Mr. Reliable kicking field goals, and Johnny Townsend might’ve had his best day as a pro. He had three punts over 50 yards, and dropped another inside the 20-yard line.

Grade: A

Overall

The Raiders found a way to win a close game. That’s important in this team’s development, especially for young players who have lost so often this season.

Carr is rounding into form, and players are working hard for Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. These are all encouraging signs for a team in the midst of a full-scale rebuild.

There’s optimism the Raiders can win again before the season’s out. That in itself is a step in the right direction.

Grade: A