Raiders emerge healthy from bye
November 11, 2009
ALAMEDA – The Oakland Raiders are finally healthy, at least on offense.
Running back Darren McFadden, wide receiver Chaz Schilens, left guard Robert Gallery and right tackle Cornell Green returned to practice Monday and are expected to play against the Kansas City Chiefs this week.
That would be a much-needed morale boost for an offense that has scored just six touchdowns in eight games and ranks 31st in total yardage.
“This is the healthiest this football team has been, there’s no question, particularly on offense,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said. “In terms of having them all back and into sync and the energy in the huddle and all those things, it was good to have them back.”
Gallery, the second overall pick in the 2004 draft, and Schilens practiced without restrictions while Oakland took a more cautious approach with McFadden and Green, who were limited.
Schilens hasn’t played this year since breaking a bone in his left foot during training camp. He was projected to be the Raiders’ No. 1 receiver but instead spent the first two months of the season as a spectator after having surgery while rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy started.
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McFadden also had surgery, to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, while Gallery broke his right leg in Week 2. Green has been sidelined with a calf strain since Oct. 4.
“No pressure, but yeah we’ve got some work to do,” Schilens said Monday before practice. “Anything would be good for us right now. Confidence, have a positive attitude and get the passing game going a little bit so we can definitely get that going.”
Oakland’s problems on offense are wide-ranging.
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell is seriously struggling in his second year as the starter and has completed only 48.4 percent of his throws. He has just two touchdown passes and nine interceptions with a 48.3 rating.
Russell hasn’t got much support from the rest of the Raiders offense. The offensive line has allowed 25 sacks in eight games, the running game is averaging just 93.6 yards a game and no wide receiver has more than 16 receptions.
Cable acknowledged it’s natural to wonder what could have been had the Raiders had all four players healthy from the beginning but said it’s also pointless.
Defensive end Greg Ellis, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week, was held out of Monday’s workout while defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was excused to handle personal business.
Earlier in the day Oakland signed defensive tackle William Joseph and released offensive lineman Paul McQuistan, the team’s third-round draft pick in 2006.