NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Austin Howard didn’t practice all week, so the Raiders ruling their swing tackle out of Sunday’s opener at New Orleans was no shock.
He rolled an ankle in the exhibition finale, taking out of action for a little bit. Outside of Howard and putting Mario Edwards Jr. and Gabe Holmes on injured reserve, the Raiders are healthy.
They have 51 players healthy – they have an open roster spot likely filled by a veteran, probably a linebacker next week – and every starter raring to go.
New Orleans isn’t in the same shape. The Saints ruled starting weakside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe out with a quadriceps strain. That’s a blow to a defense considered weak in coverage, one that finished dead last in pass defense last year.
Accomplished left tackle Terran Armstead is questionable with a knee and quadriceps issues. It would be a boon for the Raiders edge rushers, especially Bruce Irvin, if Armstead can’t go. He has been limited in practice all week.
With Howard out, the Raiders will use Matt McCants as the primary swing tackle. Donald Penn and Menelik Watson will start on the left and right, respectively.
Here’s the full injury report provided by both teams on Friday afternoon:
Raiders status report
OT Austin Howard
Saints status report
LB Daniel Ellerbe (quadriceps)
LT Terran Armstead (knee/quadriceps), WR Michael Thomas (ankle), Chris Manhertz (head)