The Oakland Raiders opened their mandatory mini-camp today with the first of three practices. Coming off of Organized Team Activities, this is the time of the year where the Raiders can continue to gel and develop players to get ready for the all-important training camp. Head coach Dennis Allen has been pleased with the progress of the practices.
“It was good work today,” Allen said. “I thought we had a good practice. I think the guys are competing. They’re coming out here and trying to get better every day. They’re continuing to work.”
As far as injuries are concerned, the Raiders were without cornerback DJ Hayden as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. He is still the the walking boot and will miss the rest of mini-camp. That is a blow, but Allen seemed confident he would be ready for training camp in July. It is of the upmost importance that he is ready then because Hayden needs those valuable training camp reps.
“He’s still in the boot,” Allen said. “I don’t expect to have DJ out here for this mini-camp. It’s definitely a setback, there’s no question about it. I mean, DJ’s still a young player, he needs a lot of reps, but I don’t think it’s the end all, be all. I don’t think it’s something that he can’t overcome, but he’s got to stay into it mentally. He’s got to do a little extra work over the offseason. Once the players get out of here, make sure he puts himself not only in the best physical shape, but also the best mental shape.”
Other Raiders that are dealing with injuries include wide receiver James Jones, guard Lucas Nix, and defensive linemen Antonio Smith. Smith took a step in the right direction being able to work with the training staff as he recovers from surgery as a result of a weight room mishap. Jones was dealing with a hamstring and shoulder injuries, but Allen said they are minor. Same goes for cornerback Carlos Rogers, who is dealing with a minor calf issue.
The only injury that is threatening to affect a player in training camp is Lucas Nix. Nix had a procedure on his knee and is questionable for the start of camp.
“The only guy, Lucas Nix, had a procedure today on his knee,” Allen said. “He’s the only guy as I see it right now that might be questionable for the start of training camp. I don’t see any of these other injuries really being an issue.”
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