NFL Wire News

Raiders’ injured Woodson may play


The Sports Xchange

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders were not ruling out the possibility of Charles Woodson playing against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, even though the 38-year-old safety left the opener with just over a minute to play because of a dislocated shoulder.

Oakland’s other starting safety, Nate Allen, was placed on injured reserve, designated for return and is out at least eight weeks after sustaining a knee injury.

“When you get hurt, it’s serious for the guy dealing with it,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “When I coached linebackers with the Ravens, one of our linebackers, Peter Boulware, had a shoulder where it would pop out on the field, and he’d pop it back in and keep playing.

“Guys can play with shoulders depending on the severity of it. We’ll just see how the week progresses whether or not he’s ready to go on Sunday.”

–The Raiders gained only 63 yards on 16 carries in Week 1, a far cry from what the they hoped for in rejuvenating a running game that was ranked 32nd a year ago.

“I’d like to see it go up,” Del Rio said, “but we have to earn that. Convert some on third down, have some more possessions. I don’t feel like we totally abandoned it, but I don’t we feel we effectively set up what we set out to do.”

–Included in Del Rio’s ascent up the ladder to NFL head coach was a three-year stint coaching linebackers for the Baltimore Ravens under Brian Billick.

Del Rio caught Billick’s eye when he played middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings under Dennis Green, with Billick the offensive coordinator.

“I wasn’t on the defensive side of the ball, but was around him and you knew he was a very smart player,” Billick told the Bay Area News Group. “You knew he was one of those guys that if he wanted to get into coaching, he could.”

Billick said Del Rio’s reputation as a player served him well as a coach, but only to a point.

“You have credibility as a player and players respond to it, but then, it’s, ‘What can you do for me?,'” Billick said. “I thought Jack would be a perfect fit for Ray Lewis. Jack was such a well-prepared mental player, and I think Ray tapped into that with Jack more than anything else.”

–Wide receiver Brice Butler, who stuck with the Raiders on the strength of a strong preseason, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for a conditional draft pick. The Raiders reportedly would get a sixth-round selection if Butler is on the Dallas roster at the end of the season.

A third-year receiver out of San Diego State, Butler was not active for the regular-season opener. Dallas was in the market for a wide receiver after Dez Bryant broke his foot in the regular-season opener.

The Raiders, meanwhile, had six receivers on the roster — Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Seth Roberts and Butler.

With the roster spot made available by dealing Butler, the Raiders re-signed Taylor Mays to shore up depth at safety.

After having four tight ends for the opener, the Raiders reduced that by one after they were convinced third-round pick Clive Walford was good to go in terms of health. Walford had a catch and a drop against the Bengals, but that was enough for the team to release Gabe Holmes. Walford’s role could increase as a seam route runner in Week 2.

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