ALAMEDA – Raiders offensive tackle Austin Howard missed another practice on Thursday, making it unlikely he’ll play in Sunday’s regular-season opener at New Orleans.
He lost out on a position battle to start at right tackle, with that job going to Menelik Watson. Howard is a valued member of his position group, one that is fairly deep at offensive tackle.
Matt McCants has experience playing left and right tackle, and would be the first player off the bench should Watson or Donald Penn need relief. Rookie seventh-round pick Vadal Alexander can play guard or outside at tackle in a pinch.
That’s the benefit of carrying nine offensive lineman, most of them versatile enough to play a few positions.
Howard isn’t expected to be out long with an ankle injury.
The Raiders and Saints will post a full participation report later Thursday afternoon. Check back for updates.