The Oakland Raiders took the field Monday for a padded practice at their Napa Valley Training Complex as training camp, presented by California National Guard, continues. The team is in regular season mode and spent much of practice replicating looks from the Chicago Bears in order to prepare for Friday’s match-up.
There were a handful of players who did not participate in Monday’s practice – WR Juron Criner, DT Pat Sims, RB Latavius Murray, DE Brandon Bair, CB Tracy Porter, T Menelik Watson, LB Kevin Burnett and SS Tyvon Branch.
G Mike Brisiel, DT Vance Walker, CB Chimdi Chekwa and WR Jacoby Ford returned to the field, after missing time with various injuries.
Head Coach Dennis Allen felt good with what he saw out of Walker and Ford, who had both been out for an extended period of time. “I thought [Walker] looked fine. I thought he looked well,” said Coach Allen. “We’re trying to ease him back into it, and I thought for his first day back, he did some good things.
“First day back,” said Ford. “It felt good to get back out there. Just kind of took my time this time coming back. I felt good, [hamstring] didn’t grab or anything. It definitely was a positive day for me.”
Ford battled a hamstring injury at the beginning of camp and had tried to come back to practice earlier. “It was the same thing [earlier in camp],” said Ford. “I just kind of came back probably a little too quick. I just wasn’t ready. It just kind of tightened up on me again. They just kind of rested me a little bit, for precautions.”
Ford feels fresh and ready to go. “[My speed and burst are] definitely back,” he said. “Before it was kind of hard to accelerate and I was probably a little bit more timid. Now I am 100 percent just full go.”
CB DJ Hayden participated in his first padded practice without a red jersey. “It went good. Felt like a normal practice to me,” said Hayden. “It feels good to be normal again. I’m excited.”
He recorded an interception early in practice. “I thought he competed today. I think we’re all anxious to see, and I think he’s anxious to see, what it’s like when he gets out there in game action,” said Coach Allen.
Coach Allen said Hayden will start this Friday against the Chicago Bears. “I anticipate him going out there; he’ll start in the game,” said Coach Allen. “We’ll see how he is on a football-shape standpoint and see what all he can do.”
The preseason game will be good for Hayden as he continues to transition into professional football. “I feel like I’m transitioning well,” said Hayden. “I feel like I’m still in the process of just knowing where all my help is, but I feel like I’m adjusting pretty well. I’m still learning, still trying to get better.”
Practice was highlighted by a couple of nice, deep throws by QB Terrelle Pryor. WR Denarius Moore also showcased some catches over the middle in traffic.
The team will take the field tomorrow for their penultimate practice at the Raiders Napa Valley Training Complex. Catch all the action on Raiders.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Tags: Chicago Bears, Dennis Allen, DJ Hayden, Jacoby Ford, Oakland Raiders, Training Camp, Vance Walker
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