The Oakland Raiders were back on the practice field Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's home game against the New Orleans Saints. However, they still are without running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson as well as defensive tackle Richard Seymour. All three missed the game against the Baltimore Ravens. Safeties Tyvon Branch and Matt Giordano were held out. The team also announced they would put linebacker Travis Goethel on injured reserve and signed linebacker Omar Gaither to take his spot on the roster.
McFadden and Goodson are dealing with high ankle sprains and are questionable for Sunday. Without their services, the Raiders relied on fullback Marcel Reece to carry the rushing load against the Ravens. If neither McFadden nor Goodson can go, it will be a similar situation as last week with Reece playing the most snaps and Taiwan Jones spelling and being a change of pace runner.
“They’re in boots right now,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “I would say questionable right now.”
Seymour is dealing with a hamstring injury and is also questionable for Sunday. Goethel suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against Baltimore, ending his season. The Raiders signed Omar Gaither to bring in depth at linebacker in response to the injury. Gaither was a fifth round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played five seasons for the Eagles making 36 starts. Last season he played for the Carolina Panthers making four starts.
“He’s a veteran guy,” Allen said of Gaither. “He’s smart, got some football instincts. So it was good to see him out here working today. I think he’ll get caught up pretty quickly.”
Oakland did receive some good news on the injury front as right tackle Khalif Barnes continues to improve from his groin injury suffered in week two. Willie Smith was Barnes replacement and has struggled. Barnes took the majority of the first team reps in practice today.
“It’ll be good because he’s an experienced guy,” Allen said of Barnes. “He’s played a lot of football. I think he’ll help us, not only in the run game, but also the passing game.”
Safeties Tyvon Branch and Matt Giordano are dealing with concussion and neck injuries and missed Wednesday's practice. Giordano is taking the mandatory NFL tests before he can come back to practice. Tight End Brandon Myers passed his concussion tests and is cleared for participation.
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