Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Matt McGloin could be without his top receiver when he makes his second NFL start Sunday against Tennessee.
Denarius Moore missed his second straight day of practice with a shoulder injury he suffered during last week’s win over Houston. If he’s unable to go, it would weaken an already thin receiving corps.
”Several guys need to step up,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Thursday. ”It’s just like everything else we’ve had to deal with as far as injuries are concerned. Next man up. Somebody’s going to have to come out and perform.”
Only two of Oakland’s wide receivers have caught more than 10 passes this season. Moore, who has not missed a start since being sidelined with a hamstring injury for the season opener in 2012, is one of them.
The third-year wide receiver leads the Raiders in catches, receiving yardage and touchdowns this season. He is the only Oakland player to have a 100-yard game this season and was attempting to become the first Oakland wide receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Randy Moss in 2005.
Moore might still get there but will have to do it in fewer than 16 games if he misses the Titans game.
”Denarius has been really our leading receiver so it’ll have an effect,” Allen said. ”We’ve got several quality wide receivers. All those guys have been a factor for us and they need to continue to be a factor for us.”
McGloin, who passed for three touchdowns without an interception in last week’s 28-23 win over the Texans, didn’t seem too concerned. Since replacing Terrelle Pryor as the Raiders’ starter, the former walk-on at Penn State said he’s developed a pretty good rapport with his receivers.
”We talk all the time,” McGloin said. ”My locker’s right next to Rod (Streater) and a lot of the wideouts, so we’re constantly talking about the game and we’re constantly having fun. The communication has never been an issue.”
One option to replace Moore would be Andre Holmes, who sat out the first four games of the year serving an NFL suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Moore, however, has caught just one pass in the four games since being added to the 53-man roster.
Seventh-round draft pick Brice Butler could also see increased playing time against Tennessee. The rookie caught at least one pass in the first six games of the regular season before making a pair of costly drops against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. He’s played sparingly since.
Jacoby Ford opened the season third on the depth chart but has also had problems hanging onto the ball and has steadily seen his playing time decrease. He has just 10 catches for the year and has played fewer than 14 snaps in two of Oakland’s past four games.
The news was a little more encouraging for Pryor, who started the Raiders’ first nine games before suffering a knee injury and being replaced by McGloin.
Pryor remains limited in practice but is showing signs of improvement.
”I thought he moved around well,” Allen said. ”We’ll continue to monitor him throughout the week and see how he’s feeling at the end of the week. Hopefully he’s healthy enough to go, and if he does, then he’ll be up on Sunday.”
Defensive end Jason Hunter, who has two sacks, has not practiced this week because of a foot injury. Running back Darren McFadden and safety Tyvon Branch were also held out.