Jack Del Rio: 'Good chance' free safety Reggie Nelson misses exhibition vs. Titans

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Though Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he expects his starters to play at least the first half and "maybe a little but more" Saturday against the Tennessee Titans at the Oakland Coliseum, starting free safety Reggie Nelson might not play at all.

Nelson, who missed Oakland's entire offseason program with a reported knee issue, sat out practice this week.

"Yeah, there’s a good chance we’ll end up holding him (out)," Del Rio said Thursday. "We don’t talk to it specifically, but you all saw he didn’t work much this week, so there’s a good chance we’ll hold him."

Expect veteran Nate Allen, then, to see additional reps at safety, alongside strong safety Karl Joseph, a first-round pick.

Because the third week of the preseason is used as a dress rehearsal, of sorts, for a regular-season game, the Raiders and Titans are in an awkward spot, because they face each other in Week 3 on Sept. 25, in Nashville.

"In terms of trying to let it all air out on Week 3, it’s not really a sound approach," Del Rio said. "But we’re prepared and looking forward to the competition.

"I think they’re running the ball as well as anybody in the league right now, so it will be a great test for our run defense. And defensively, (Titans defensive coordinator Dick) LeBeau, well-known for bringing a lot of different looks up front ... so against our offense that will be great for us, preparation-wise."