ALAMEDA – The offensive line group was pretty small at the Raiders’ Wednesday practice.
The group was missing three starters and a backup, a startling sum considering Austin Howard’s return from an ankle injury.
He was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. That's the good news. The bad: center Rodney Hudson (knee), guard Gabe Jackson (knee), right tackle Menelik Watson (groin) and Matt McCants (knee) missed the session.
Losing that many members, even on a deep offensive line, is troublesome only if they can’t play on Sunday against Atlanta.
It’s Wednesday, not the time to make decisions of impact. There is confidence a few sidelined linemen will play the Falcons. ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that Hudson and Jackson are expected to play on Sunday against Atlanta.
Jackson suffered an injury early in the Saints win, but played most every offensive snap. Hudson never left the game.
If Howard’s practice week goes well, he will start if Watson can’t go. Howard rolled an ankle in the preseason finale. Wednesday marked his return to action.
Raiders participation report
Did not practice: C Rodney Hudson (knee), RG Gabe Jackson (knee), RT Menelik Watson (groin), OT Matt McCants (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (concussion).
Full participation: OT Austin Howard (ankle)
Bears participation report
Did not practice: DE Dwight Freeney (not injury related), S Keanu Neal (knee), DE Brooks Reed (shoulder)
Limited practice: RB Devonta Freeman (quadriceps), WR Julio Jones (ankle), WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle)