Oakland Raiders down to third-string safety
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland defensive back TJ Carrie missed his third consecutive practice with a chest injury and will not play this week, leaving the Raiders without the most versatile member of their secondary for Sunday’s game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Carrie was injured while fielding a punt during the first play of the second quarter of the Raiders’ 22-20 loss to the Chicago Bears last week. He left the game and did not return and later left the team’s locker room with his left arm in a sling.
Without Carrie, who started the first two games of the season at cornerback before moving to safety, the Raiders are scrambling for help.
Larry Asante practiced with the starting defense Friday but has started just two games in his five-year career. Taylor Mays was also back on the field after missing time this week with an ankle injury. Tevin McDonald, currently on the practice squad, is also an option.
”We’ll probably give Larry a little more time back there,” Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said. ”We’re really not about worrying about what we don’t have. Whoever’s called on to play, we expect them to step in and play well for us and we carry on.”
The Raiders have been playing short-handed in the secondary since losing starting strong safety Nate Allen to a knee injury in Week 1.
Allen, who was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return, is still several weeks away from playing. He worked out privately with a trainer not far from where his teammates worked out but can’t return to practice until Oct. 27 at the earliest.
With free safety Charles Woodson limited in practice since dislocating his shoulder in the season opener, that could mean a long afternoon against Manning and the Broncos for the NFL’s 31st-ranked pass defense.
”It’s definitely a challenge because you get a lot of looks from him,” Asante said. ”He’s the type of quarterback that will hold his cadence until the play clock is down to 10 seconds or less, just to see what he’s getting out of the safety. We just have to play our game and be patient because we know he’s going to be patient at the line of scrimmage with his checks and calls.”
Oakland has also had issues at cornerback. David Amerson, claimed off waivers from Washington two weeks ago, made his first start of the year during last week’s loss to Chicago. He and Neiko Thorpe could split time against Denver.
”When you’re stressed in different groups you fight the best you can,” Del Rio said. ”In Denver last year we were stressed at linebacker. Those things can happen. You do what you can.”
The Raiders will also be without defensive tackle Justin Ellis, who is wearing a walking boot on his left foot after re-injuring it in practice this week. Ellis missed two games already with a similar injury.
Additionally, kickoff returner Taiwan Jones is out with a foot injury. Coupled with the loss of Carrie, who has been the team’s primary punt returner, Oakland’s special teams are hurting and Del Rio left open the possibility that even first-round pick Amari Cooper might be used.
Notes: WR Michael Crabtree (ankle) made it through his second day of practice and is listed as probable on the team’s injury report. . DT Denico Autry (concussion) is out.
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