With the Oakland Raiders beginning their second week of OTA practices Monday, linebacker Kevin Burnett was present after missing the first sessions last week. He was the only Raiders' player not present for the voluntary workouts, opting to train on his own. That changed this week as Burnett was present for the practice. He is dealing with an ankle issue so he spent time working with the training staff.
“Kevin’s back,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s got an ankle issue that he’s working through. It was good to have him back out here today. He went through a little bit of work with the trainers on the side. Hopefully he’ll be back out practicing sooner rather than later.”
Burnett is battling for a starting spot in the Raiders' linebacking corps for 2014. That competition has heated up significantly with the addition of first round pick Khalil Mack. The linebacker position is one of the deepest and most talented on the roster with Mack, Burnett, Nick Roach, Sio Moore, and Miles Burris. All five players have some versatility and scheme flexibility to rotate in and play several positions.
Last season, Burnett started at weak side linebacker and finished second on the team with 105 tackles. He also added 2.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and one interception. As a nine year veteran, Burnett knows how to handle his business. It was not a huge deal that he missed the first week of OTAs, but it speaks to the commitment of all the players that they are back this week with 100 percent attendance. With so many moving parts on the defense, these practices can help build chemistry and communication between the players.
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