Raiders DT Henderson out with stress fracture

Oakland defensive tackle John Henderson could be sidelined for

more than a month with a stress fracture in his right foot, dealing

a blow to the Raiders’ struggling run defense.

Henderson has already missed two games with a sore foot that

wasn’t improving. Coach Tom Cable said Wednesday that Henderson had

a stress fracture and could miss between two and five additional

weeks.

”I think it’s big,” Cable said. ”John was playing well and

the last time really that he played was St. Louis, but we’ve had

good play out of him so obviously that’s a loss. But we’ll overcome

it.”

The Raiders are thin at defensive tackle with Henderson out,

with only Desmond Bryant available to back up starters Tommy Kelly

and Richard Seymour. Oakland released Jay Alford earlier in the

week to make room for linebacker Bruce Davis, who was needed to

bolster a banged-up linebacker crew.

Starting weakside linebacker Quentin Groves missed practice with

a hamstring injury that could force him to miss this week’s game

against San Diego.

”He’s very questionable right now,” Cable said. ”In another

24 hours, we’ll see. Hamstrings are hamstrings. Sometimes a week,

maybe two. Sometimes four weeks.”

Backup Thomas Howard also missed practice with a knee injury,

forcing starting defensive end Trevor Scott to move back to outside

linebacker, where he played late last season and during the

preseason. Matt Shaughnessy will start at defensive end in Howard’s

place.

Also, rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain missed practice

because of a death in his family. McClain is expected to rejoin the

team Thursday.

The Raiders have had problems on the front-seven this season,

allowing 249 yards rushing last week to Houston and the second-most

rushing yards in the league this season. Oakland also recorded no

sacks in last week’s 31-24 loss.

Because of the injuries at linebacker, the Raiders signed Davis

off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad on Tuesday. Davis has

spent time with Pittsburgh, New England and San Francisco, getting

his only game action in 2008 with the Steelers.

”I think his training has been good,” Cable said. ”He’s been

able to come in and pick it up. Today was good. I liked what I saw.

We’ll go look at it on film and then go to work here tomorrow and

Friday as well.”

Davis has played almost exclusively in 3-4 systems so it is a

little bit of an adjustment to fit into Oakland’s 4-3 scheme. Cable

said Davis can contribute right away on special teams and the

coaches will see where he is in terms of the defense later in the

week.

”I’ve learned so much defense in the going on three years I’ve

been in the league,” Davis said. ”I’ve had five playbooks so I

know how to break down a playbook and figure it out. I know how to

study. The coaching staff here is great. To this point they’ve

helped me out a lot. I think it will work out.”

Davis has ties to the Raiders. His father, Bruce, was drafted by

the Raiders in 1979 and played tackle for the team until 1987. He

was on two Super Bowl champions and was excited when he heard the

news from his son.

”My dad speaks about this place with a lot of pride,” Davis

said. ”I know he’s happy that I’m here and I’m happy to be part of

the family now too.”

NOTES: OL Robert Gallery, who has missed the past three games

with a hamstring injury, worked out on the side Wednesday and is

close to getting back on the field for practice, Cable said. … RB

Darren McFadden did not practice with a hamstring injury. Cable

said it was not as serious as the one that sidelined him for a

couple of weeks in training camp. … QB Bruce Gradkowski was

limited at practice with a shoulder injury but said it was not a

big deal.