Wisniewski returns to practice for Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders’ offensive line received a boost Wednesday as center Stefen Wisniewski returned to practice for the first time since he sprained his right knee against Washington on Sept. 29.

Wisniewski practiced in a limited fashion, but coach Dennis Allen was optimistic Wisniewski could play Sunday against Pittsburgh and give the beleaguered O-line a lift, both physically and mentally.

“I think that’s huge,” Allen said. “I think what he means to our offensive line, the type of player he is, his intelligence level, helps us with a lot of the communication, not only in protective schemes, but also in the run game.

“Communication is going to be critical against this defense and making sure we can identify where the rushers are coming from. Wiz has done a great job of that for us all year long, so it’s good to have him back out there.”

Wisniewski said he was initially told his injury would be a three-to-four-week deal, so three weeks later, he’s right on schedule. Even if sitting by and watching the line crumble was tough.

“It hurts,” he said. “That San Diego game was a big-time game, nighttime game, those are really fun ones. And that Chief game, I was sitting on my couch, watching on TV, that hurts. So I’m really excited I’ve got a good chance to be back.”

Meanwhile, right tackle Tony Pashos (hip) worked with a trainer on a side field, though center/left guard Andre Gurode (quadriceps) and left tackle Menelik Watson (calf) were nowhere to be seen.

Here is the Raiders’ full injury report for Wednesday:

Did not participate: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), C/G Andre Gurode (quad), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), RT Tony Pashos (hip), LT Menelik Watson (calf).

Limited practice: CB Tracy Porter (shoulder), C Stefen Wisniewski (right knee).