NAPA, Calif . -- A daily review of the hot topics coming of of Oakland Raiders training camp:
Raiders training camp has claimed its first casualty as tight end David Ausberry, listed at No. 1 on the depth chart, will undergo a “procedure” on an injured knee Wednesday and “he may be out for a little while,” according to coach Dennis Allen. There is no timetable for Ausberry's return, which vaults Mychal Rivera, who started three games last year as a rookie, into the starting role while giving opportunities to Brian Leonhardt and Nick Kasa. Rivera played in all 16 games last season and had 38 catches for 407 yards and four touchdowns. Ausberry finished practice Saturday. The Raiders had Sunday off and returned to practice Monday when Ausberry missed his first practice of camp. He spent last season on injured reserve after suffering what he called a “pretty nasty” left shoulder injury in the exhibition season.
It must be Jelly 'cause jam don't shake that way. At least, not in a tip drill by the defensive linemen. Rookie defensive tackle Justin “Jelly” Ellis, all 6-foot-2, 334 pounds (on a light day) of him, showed his sweet feet, dexterity and quicks when he chased down a tipped ball from fellow 300-pound defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, much to the delight of the fans. Men as big as Ellis should not be able to move as quickly as he does, right?
The offense looked all sorts of out of sorts in a red zone drill. Of course, the defense's beefy line had more than a little something to do with it. “You saw practice today,” said defensive tackle Pat Sims. Indeed, the defense dominated the drill. Until Matt Schaub finally hit Denarius Moore in the back of the end zone for the score, beating Chance Casey in the process.
Tarell Brown giveth, Tarell Brown taketh away ... depending upon your perspective. First the new cornerback broke up a Matt Schaub pass to Rod Streater, who had nothing but open real estate in front of him. Then, Brown was victimized by Greg Little, who made an acrobatic catch down the left sideline for a big gain on a pass from Schaub.
Pat Sims' evaluation of the Raiders' top draft pick, strongside linebacker Khalil Mack? “The best rookie in the draft. Period.”
Rookie defensive backs TJ Carrie and Jonathan Dowling each had pick-six interceptions in team drills. Carrie's came off a Schaub pass tipped at the line of scrimmage and Dowling stepped in front of James Jones to victimize Derek Carr.
Weakside linebacker Sio Moore, who missed consecutive practices with a sore rib, returned to practice, though Miles Burris worked again with the first-team defense. Linebackers Kaluka Maiava (hamstring) and Marshall McFadden (hip) and rookie cornerback Keith McGill (unknown) rode the stationary bike at the beginning of practice. Defensive backs Shelton Johnson (unknown) and Neiko Thorpe (unknown) also sat out practice again. Cornerback DJ Hayden (foot), safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remain on the physically unable to perform list.
The Raiders practice again Wednesday at 3 p.m. PT.