Particularly when it comes to those benefiting from Penn’s absence -- Marshall Newhouse, who switched over from right tackle to left tackle, and Vadal Alexander, who is at right tackle with the first-team offense.
“Good,” Del Rio said when asked how Newhouse has looked in making the switch. “He’s a pro, yeah. Good pro. Good player.
“And Vadal’s got a ton of snaps, doing a nice job where he’s at, so he goes up against the guys pretty good over there, Khalil [Mack]. Yeah, those guys are doing well. The O-line, we’ve got a good group of men.”
Penn, who re-signed with Oakland on a two-year, $11.9 million deal in March 2016, reportedly wants to be paid like a top-10 tackle in the NFL. His base salary of $5.8 million this season ranks 11th among pure left tackles, per ESPN Stats & Information, behind Washington's Trent Williams ($11.25 million), the Houston Texans' Duane Brown ($9.65 million), the Buffalo Bills' Cordy Glenn ($9 million), the Jacksonville Jaguars' Branden Albert ($8.875 million), the Cleveland Browns' Joe Thomas ($8.8 million), the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Staley ($8.25 million), the Los Angeles Rams' Andrew Whitworth ($7.50 million), the Kansas City Chiefs' Eric Fisher ($6.85 million), the New England Patriots' Nate Solder ($6.5 million) and the Minnesota Vikings' Riley Reiff ($6.2 million).
Pro Football Focus had Penn surrendering only one sack in 621 pass snaps last season, though it was a big one. It was the play in which Derek Carr suffered his season-ending broken right fibula in Week 16.
Penn, 34, has never missed a regular-season game since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007, though a knee injury kept him out of the Raiders’ playoff loss in Houston.
“It was tough,” Penn said during OTAs. “It was very emotional. If I was accustomed to missing games before, it might not have been that tough but I’ve never missed a game before, high school, college, anything. That was really tough. I tried to do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen again so I can be able to help out my team.
“Me and Derek missing was a big part of our offense and I’m going to try to make sure I do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It’s hard to even explain how tough it was, because it was that tough.”
Carr said this week he has spoken with Penn, but would not elaborate.
Del Rio, meanwhile, was asked if, after practice No. 8 of 15 in Napa, he expected to see Penn before the Raiders break camp.”
“I don’t think about it like that,” Del Rio said, emphasizing his focus and energy were on the players who are in camp, before breaking away to get an update from Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie.
“Beyond that, I’m just coaching and waiting,” Del Rio said. “I’m doing what I need to do with the guys that are here.”