ALAMEDA – Raiders receiver Amari Cooper was limited in two practices last week. He missed Wednesday’s session altogether, with the same foot ailment bothering him in the recent past.
He was back on the practice field Thursday in a limited role, trying to get in the best possible shape for Sunday’s showdown against the Green Bay Packers.
Cooper needs to rebound well after not having a catch against Denver despite seven targets. Pro Football Focus also credits him with two drops. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave admitted the ailment is cumbersome, but didn’t want to draw a direct connection between injury and the lackluster performance.
“It’s hard to say that,” Musgrave said. “I know he’s working through it. He didn’t practice yesterday, but he’s working through his foot so we can get back to full strength and we can be more effective there at the split end.”
Cooper is expected to play the Packers. So is Khalil Mack, who rested Wednesday but was back in action Thursday.
Not all injury news was good for the Raiders. It seems extremely unlikely right tackle Austin Howard will play with a knee injury that has kept him out of practice this week.
Musgrave said moving right guard J’Marcus Webb, a career offensive tackle, outside is a real possibility. That would mean either Tony Bergstrom or rookie Jon Feliciano would start in Webb’s spot. Bergstrom did that for one play last week, but it’s possible position coach Mike Tice could insert Feliciano into the starting lineup for the first time in his career. The fourth-round pick was down on the depth chart, but has good athleticism for his size.
“I think there’s talk about how we’re going to line up, how we’re going to look there on the right side,” Musgrave said. “There are a number of options.”
The Raiders have choices to replace Nate Allen, who might have suffered a setback with his knee injury. He practiced in a limited role Wednesday but was inactive on Thursday. A practice regression typically means a player won’t go in the upcoming game.
The Raiders primarily used Taylor Mays in Allen’s stead last week, but could also use TJ Carrie in that spot.
Raiders participation report
Did not practice: T Austin Howard (knee), S Nate Allen (knee),
Limited practice: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), WR Amari Cooper (foot), DE Khalil Mack (knee), CB Neiko Thorpe (neck)
Full practice: DE Shelby Harris (ankle), S Charles Woodson (shoulder)
Packers participation report
Did not practice: CB Sam Shields (concussion), G Josh Sitton (back), WR Ty Montgomery (ankle)
Limited practice: T David Bakhtari (knee), T Bryan Bulaga (ankle), DT Mike Daniels (hamstring), G T.J. Lang (shoulder), C Corey Linsley (ankle), LB Clay Matthews (ankle), LB Nick Perry (shoulder), WR Davonte Adams (foot)
Full practice: CB Casey Hayward (hamstring)