NAPA, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming of of Oakland Raiders training camp:
Tight end David Ausberry underwent a procedure on a knee Wednesday, that much we know. But Raiders coach Dennis Allen would not give any further details as to whether it was a relatively minor procedure or a more invasive surgery. Allen would not even reveal which knee Ausberry had worked on earlier in the day. “I’m not going to get into that one,” Allen said with a sheepish grin. Allen did repeat, though, that there is no timetable for Ausberry’s return.
With Ausberry shelved for the foreseeable future, all eyes were on Mychal Rivera when it came to the tight ends, and Rivera did not disappoint. On one play, the second-year player beat free safety Charles Woodson on a deep double-move, catching the ball thrown by Matt Schaub with his fingertips while fully extended. Rivera rolled into the end zone and said excitedly, “Touchdown.”
Eleven practices in and we finally had our first scrimmage scuffle. Rookie defensive tackle Justin Ellis and guard Austin Howard shoved each other following a play in the helmets and shorts practice and just as it appeared things were about to get serious, teammates separated the two.
Oakland waived/injured a pair of players in linebacker Marshall McFadden and safety Shelton Johnson and signed rookie linebacker Spencer Hadley, who was initially signed by the New Orleans Saints in May before being cut in June, and safety Larry Asante, who appeared in five games with the Colts last season.
The Raiders are about to begin a physical seven-day stretch in which they play a pair of exhibition games, at Minnesota and home against the Detroit Lions, and have two practices in two days with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California. “We’re going to be smart about it, but things happen in the game of football,” Allen said. “Football is a tough game and the only way you can get ready for the regular season is to play the game. We’ll be smart about it, but I’m a firm believer that to get ready for the regular season, you’ve got to work, so those guys will play.”
Eight-year-old Charlie DeGrange, who is a patient at UC San Francisco with an inoperable brain tumor, ended Raiders practice by breaking the team huddle. He was wearing a Derek Carr No. 4 jersey.
Linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), cornerbacks Keith McGill (groin) and Neiko Thorpe (unknown) and safety Usama Young (quad) worked with a trainer on a side field before practice. Guard Lamar Mady (ankle) missed practice after rolling an ankle at Tuesday’s practice and leaving the field house on crutches. Allen said Mady would probably not play at Minnesota. Young, cornerback DJ Hayden (foot) and and guard Lucas Nix (knee) are still on the PUP list.
The Raiders travel to Minnesota Thursday and have no media access as they prepare for Friday night’s exhibition opener against the Vikings.