Raiders plan to activate S Allen from IR
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The longest wait of Oakland Raiders safety Nate Allen’s career is finally over.
Coach Jack Del Rio said Friday that the team plans to activate Allen from the injured reserve list and add him to the 53-man roster in time for Sunday’s game against Minnesota.
One of several key free agents signed by the Raiders in the offseason, Allen has not played since injuring the MCL in his right knee during Oakland’s season opener on Sept. 13. He spent the past two weeks practicing on the field but had not been cleared to play.
The Raiders released rookie Tevin McDonald on Thursday in anticipation of adding Allen.
”It feels like a really long time,” Allen said. ”The MCL feels good, not really thinking about it too much. Playing on it, breaking off it hard. That’s usually the main concern when you come off something like that but it feels stable and 100 percent.”
Allen’s return should provide some relief to the Raiders’ secondary. Oakland ranks 32nd in pass defense, giving up nearly 315 yards per game.
It hasn’t helped that many of the Raiders’ defensive backs have been hurt. Free safety Charles Woodson dislocated his shoulder in Week 1 and has not missed a game. Cornerback TJ Carrie, who has filled in at strong safety while Allen has been out, has been slowed by chest and hip injuries.
”We’ve got a lot of guys that are a little nicked up, beat up right now so it might be a good thing we came back at the right time,” Allen said.
Allen signed a $23 million, four-year contract with Oakland after spending his first five seasons in Philadelphia. He had missed just six games in his career prior to being sidelined with the Raiders.
”The first couple weeks are all right but then once you start getting five, six weeks, it’s like, man,” Allen said. ”You got out there for two weeks and you have to practice, and then Sunday everybody’s suiting up and you’re not active. It’s all right though. It’s part of the process.”
The news wasn’t as encouraging for center Rodney Hudson.
Hudson suffered a high ankle sprain during last week’s loss in Pittsburgh and has not practiced this week. Another of the offseason signings by Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, Hudson has been wearing a walking boot on his right foot the past two days.
Although Hudson hasn’t practiced this week and is listed as doubtful, the Raiders are holding out hope he might be able to play against the Vikings. If not, veteran offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom is expected to start at center.
”(Hudson) has gotten better each day,” Del Rio said. ”We’ll see how it goes come Sunday. We prepared the other guys. Tony’s obviously gotten the lion’s share of the work.”
Notes: Del Rio said that fourth-round pick Jon Feliciano will back up Bergstrom if Hudson does not play. … Wide receiver Amari Cooper (quad) and running back Latavius Murray (concussion) practiced without restrictions and are probable. Woodson (shoulder), Carrie and tight end Clive Walford (quad) are also probable.
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