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Jack Del Rio: Raiders getting good work in despite injuries

NAPA, Calif. -- There was Khalil Mack, rocking a bucket hat instead of his Oakland Raiders helmet, standing on the sideline. So, too, was Amari Cooper, merely an observer.

And five of the Raiders’ nine draft picks, including their top four selections -- cornerback Gareon Conley, safety Obi Melifonwu, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes and offensive tackle David Sharpe -- also sat out practice on Tuesday, after an off day. (Seventh-round pick Jylan Ware, an offensive tackle who went down in Sunday’s practice, was the other draftee to sit out.)

Yes, even Raiders coach Jack Del Rio seemed a tad irritated at the number of players off the field for training camp practice No. 9.

“It looked like a veteran rest day, except it was mostly rookies,” Del Rio said. “It was not by design. We’re making progress.”

Del Rio is loath to discuss injuries, particularly in camp. But when it's Mack, who rarely, if ever, takes a day off, and Cooper, sitting out his fourth day in five practices with what appears to be a left leg issue -- well, that raises questions.

Especially with the Raiders opening their preseason schedule Saturday at the Arizona Cardinals.

“My feeling on it is that we cherish every rep that we get,” Del Rio said. “We’re going to work our butts off to get them out there whenever we can. Ultimately, it comes down to the player being ready to go. We’re doing everything we can to do the right things by our guys.”

The only draft picks to practice on Tuesday were middle linebacker Marquel Lee, safety Shalom Luani, running back Elijah Hood and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester.

“For the most part, the team is staying healthy and getting a lot of good work in, a lot of good situational work,” Del Rio said. “You know my philosophy on [discussing injuries], but probably a larger number than even we expected coming off a day off.

“Should be short-term guys, a bunch of them are younger. We’ll get them back as quick as possible.”