Raiders Could Take Advantage of Injured Chiefs Secondary
By Ryan Leong
The Raiders are getting healthier but many players who have been battling injuries are still on the mend.
After being limited on Wednesday and Thursday, defensive tackle Richard Seymour did not participate in Friday’s practice. Listed as questionable, since he did not practice he likely won’t play on Sunday. If he can’t go, his replacement will be Desmond Bryant.
Seymour’s lingering knee and hamstring injuries have opened the door for rookie Christo Bilukidi. The person Bilukidi has most impressed is Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.
“From where he came from, a sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia State who played in a two-point stance most of the time, he’s made a lot of improvement,” Allen said. “He’s worked extremely hard. Obviously he’s played a little bit more than we really would have anticipated, but that’s been good for him. It’ll be good for him moving forward.”
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor will suit up for the third straight game and perhaps he’ll finally see some playing time.
Friday marked the first time this week that strong safety Tyvon Branch practiced with the team but is listed as questionable. Coach Allen says he’ll be a game time decision.
Branch had a streak of 57 straight games ended when a neck injury forced him to miss the New Orleans game. He has started three games since then and this time, his ankle is the
For Kansas City, the only player ruled out for Sunday’s game is wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. He has been the Chiefs best receiver, 801 yards on 59 receptions.
It’s been over a month since they the offensive line were able to have their five starters able to practice all week. LT Branden Albert (back), C Ryan Lilja (back/knee) and RG Jon Asamoah (hand) have missed practice time.
On defense, CBs Brandon Flowers, CB Jalil Brown, FS Kendrick Lewis, SS Eric Berry and S Abram Elam have all been off the practice field and have missed games.
Safety Abram Elam did not practice all week and it appears unlikely he will be ready to play on Sunday in Oakland. Elam suffered a quad injury on November 25.
Free safety Kendrick Lewis appears likely to play for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury back on November 25. He was a full participant in all three days of practice this week and listed as probable.
Tight end Tony Moeaki has 28 catches for 396 yards and only one touchdown, but he might be the best option in the passing game for quarterback Brady Quinn with the absence of Bowe.
Two weeks ago, Moeaki had four catches for 54 yards and his lone touchdown in a win over Carolina. With the Raiders ranking 28th in pass defense, a good game by Moeaki could be a difference maker.
With the injury to Flowers, it could bode well for Raiders receiver Denarius Moore who has a touchdown catch in each of Oakland’s three wins this season. With Flowers nursing a hamstring injury, Moore’s speed could make it tough for Flowers to defend him.
S Tyvon Branch (neck/ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee/hamstring)
T Khalif Barnes (triceps), DE Jack Crawford (toe), DB Michael Huff (wrist), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), S Mike Mitchell (neck)
Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwyane Bowe (ribs)
G Russ Hochstein (back)
T Branden Albert (back), C/G Ryan Lilja (knee), G Jon Asamoah (thumb)
CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring), LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring), RB Cyrus Gray (shoulder/neck), S Eric Berry (hand), S Kendrick Lewis (shoulder)
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.