Isaiah Johnson

Raiders inactives: Keelan Doss back in fray with Hunter Renfrow out

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USATSI

Raiders inactives: Keelan Doss back in fray with Hunter Renfrow out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Keelan Doss hasn’t seen much game action this year. The Alameda native has been on the 53-man roster all year but has rarely been active, sitting down in deference to more established receivers and even second-year wideout Marcell Ateman.

He will be involved during Sunday’s game against the host Kansas City Chiefs, taking Hunter Renfrow’s spot on the 46-man active roster. Renfrow is out while dealing with a rib injury and a punctured lung suffered during last week’s loss to the New York Jets.

Doss has been inactive for the last five games.

He is an option to play in the slot, though Zay Jones will see significant snaps there as well. Doss has reliable hands but doesn’t have breakneck speed or special teams ability, which hurts his case for activation on Sundays.

He’ll be part of a Raiders receiver corps that must do better after dropping too many passes in that Jets loss.

The Raiders tightened their defensive end rotation Sunday, leaving Josh Mauro inactive for this pivotal contest against the Chiefs. Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa will play a lot, with Dion Jordan capable of rushing from the outside as well. He has been an interior rusher in sub-packages, but the Raiders could expand his role as his comfort within the defensive system increases.

Cornerback Isaiah Johnson is another healthy scratch, leaving the Raiders with four cornerbacks. Keisean Nixon was selected over Johnson as the fourth cornerback.

David Sharpe is healthy after dealing with a calf injury, but he’s down in deference to Brandon Parker as the swing tackle.

The Raiders complete inactive list: LB Preston Brown, WR Rico Gafford, CB Isaiah Johnson, QB DeShone Kizer, DE Josh Mauro, WR Hunter Renfrow, OT David Sharpe.

[RELATED: Raiders need big game from Carr to beat Chiefs]

There were no surprise inactives for the Chiefs, who ruled running back Damien Williams with injured ribs.

Raiders injury report: Arden Key to miss significant time with broken foot

Raiders injury report: Arden Key to miss significant time with broken foot

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders are banged up without much time to recover before Thursday night’s game against the L.A. Chargers.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said three players were set for MRIs on Monday, and a source said the results were mixed.

Further testing confirmed Raiders fears that defensive end Arden Key had suffered a broken foot. He's expected to miss significant time, a real setback for a second-year pro who's starting to finish sacks and make positive strides. He had sacks in back-to-back games, including a third-down takedown in Sunday's victory over the Lions.

The news was better for star right tackle Trent Brown. His MRI showed no significant damage, and there's a chance he could play against the Chargers. He could be questionable for that game, though that won't be known until Wednesday's injury report is released.

Cornerback Daryl Worley has a strained Achilles’ tendon that is not torn. Worley had an MRI but should be OK moving forward, though the quick turnaround puts his status in some question. 

Center Rodney Hudson missed the Lions game with an ankle sprain, and the Raiders aren’t sure if he’ll be able to play against the Chargers. He practiced Friday and was active some in pre-game warmups but ultimately was rendered inactive.

“I don’t know how close he was. He gave it everything he could,” Gruden said of Hudson. “I don’t know his status for this game, either. I’ll cross my fingers. He just couldn’t push off [the injured ankle].”

Players were given Monday off, but the team had to submit an estimated participation report anyway. Nicholas Morrow showed up there with a groin injury.

Also, the Raiders formally activated cornerback Isaiah Johnson off injured reserve. Linebacker Brandon Marshall was waived in a corresponding move. The veteran was back with the team for less than a week. Fellow new linebacker Will Compton was activated over him and played defense and special teams.

[RELATED: Report: Raiders work out Swearinger for secondary help]

Here’s the estimated participation report submitted by the team:

Raiders practice report

MONDAY
Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
DE Arden Key (foot)
LB Nicholas Morrow (groin)
CB Daryl Worley (ankle)

Limited practice
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
C Andre James (ankle)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
S Erik Harris (illness)
DT Johnathan Hankins (foot)

How Raiders' Isaiah Johnson improved his game while on injured reserve

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AP

How Raiders' Isaiah Johnson improved his game while on injured reserve

ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback Isaiah Johnson lost valuable development time during his rookie season through no fault of his own. It was stolen from an inadvertent knee to the head by teammate Marquel Lee in the first preseason game, where Johnson suffered a concussion and a facial fracture that put his professional career on hold.

He didn’t play or practice again during the preseason and was placed on injured reserve right after the 53-man roster was set. That final act gave Johnson belief that the entire season was not lost.

The Raiders planned to designate him for return near midseason, when he was healthy and able to contribute on defense and special teams. Defensive contributions will be harder without nine weeks of practice and playing time, especially for a former receiver with just two seasons experience at cornerback, but Johnson isn’t bitter about that.

He applied proper perspective to his downtime and set to handle this setback as best he could.

“I feel like everything happens for a reason,” Johnson said Monday. “I believe in marathons, not sprints. Everybody has a time and place for something to happen. My time just wasn’t then. When I got hurt, it didn’t really destroy me mentally. I knew there were steps to take to get where I want to go. I used it as a learning experience.”

That wasn’t always easy. Johnson was merely watching others practice and play, trying to learn conceptually without an ability to apply it on a practice field.

“I’m going to be honest: It’s really hard sitting in meetings, watching tape that you’re not on,” Johnson said. “After a while you mature and learn how to be a pro. Once you do that, you watch all that film and start applying it to yourself, so when you come back [to practice], you can use that knowledge.

"I kind of felt that today. I found myself applying some of the tools I learned during the six weeks I wasn’t playing.”

Johnson started practicing on Monday, opening a 21-day window for the Raiders to activate him or place him on season-ending injured reserve. Johnson expects activation when he’s eligible to play after eight weeks on IR.

He’ll have nine regular-season games left if all goes to plan, offering plenty of time to accomplish this year’s primary objective.

“My only goal is to help the team win games,” Johnson said. “That has always been the case, so I can do everything I set out to do. Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to come in and do it.”

Johnson is a top-tier athlete perfectly built for press-man coverage, though some development was required and understandable for someone who took up the cornerback position as a junior at the University of Houston. The Raiders need cornerback depth with Daryl Worley moving into more of a hybrid role, with Nevin Lawson and Trayvon Mullen as options to pick up Worley’s outside cornerback snaps when he roves across the defensive backfield.

Johnson will be involved in that but should be an immediate contributor on special teams.

[RELATED: Jackson, Johnson practice as Raiders prepare for Packers]

He was known as an excellent gunner in punt coverage and should give special teams a lift the moment he’s eligible to play. That’s a role he’s ready for right away.

“I have always enjoyed playing special teams,” Johnson said. “I feel like [special teams coordinator Rich] Bisaccia has a great system, and I feel like I can contribute the moment he puts me back on the field. I’m trying to show the coaches that I’m ready to go.

"I know I’ve been out, but I’m working to come back.”