ALAMEDA – Rashad Jennings was already down following an 8-yard reception when Dallas defensive back Jeff Heath inadvertently kicked him in the head. His head snapped down toward the turf and, for a moment lay motionless on the turf late in Thursday’s loss to Dallas.
The Raiders’ feature back was wobbly walking toward the sideline and later diagnosed with a concussion. He was clearly disoriented in the postgame locker room, but coach Dennis Allen saw improvement on Friday.
“He was doing a lot better today when he came in,” Allen said. “So, he’ll have to go through the whole protocol. Obviously with the extra time, that will help as far as the potential for his availability next week.”
The Raiders will take the weekend off before preparing to play the New York Jets on Dec. 8. That’s the extra time Allen referred to, which increases his chances of playing that week.
Outside that, the Raiders injury picture isn’t as clear. Several players suffered significant injuries that are considered troublesome with just four games left.
Allen said Usama Young (neck), cornerback Mike Jenkins (shoulder), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (calf) special teamer Jeremy Steward (knee, ankle) and right guard Mike Brisiel (knee) suffered injuries against the Cowboys.
It’s entirely possible that some in that group won’t see the field again.
“Any time you have injuries at this point in the season, it’s a concern,” Allen said. “all of those injuries are concerning, as to when they’re going to be able to be back. We’ll probably have some more information early next week when the players get back in town and get going.”
Branch nearing return: Strong safety Tyvon Branch has missed most of the season after fracturing his fibula in Week 2, but the Raiders believe he could be back as early as Dec. 8 versus the New York Jets. Branch conducted an important workout on Friday, and could start practice next week.
I am hopeful that he can be back out at practice and begin getting himself back ready to play,” Allen said.
Branch’s return would be an improvement over Brandian Ross, who has struggled in recent weeks.
Moore’s shoulder still hurting: Receiver Denarius Moore hasn’t practice since injuring his shoulder Nov. 17 against Houston, and Allen took a wait-and-see approach with Moore’s ability to work again.