NAPA -– Raiders receiver Rod Streater was back at practice after missing the first 11 sessions of training camp and Friday’s preseason opener. He ran smooth routes, and caught a few passes in a practice without pads while working with the second unit. Streater ended up with the first team a few times, and proclaimed himself no worse for the wear.
“There was no rust,” Streater said after Sunday morning’s practice. “I just got in there and got back at it.”
Streater started training camp on the active/non-football illness list with an undisclosed ailment that wasn’t disclosed and Streater said hadn’t been formally diagnosed. He said he started feeling under the weather after the Raiders offseason program ended in June, but was able to recuperate. It still took some time to get back in football shape, which prolonged his absence from practice.
“I lost a little bit of weight, but you guys see me out here in the weight room working hard,” Streater said. “I’m ready to practice, ready to work.”
Streater stayed in his playbook and counseled with quarterbacks as the team installed elements of coordinator Bill Musgrave’s scheme.
“I was in with the quarterbacks trying to learn plays however I can,” Streater said. “It wasn’t like I missed a step (mentally). I got back out there, but the conditioning part and the flow of the game I have to get used to again."
That will come with reps. Streater looked good in his first session, and there’s a strong possibility he could play Saturday’s exhibition in Minnesota. Streater hasn’t played a game since fracturing his foot in last year’s Week 3 loss at New England, and is hankering for live action.
This was a first step in what should be a journey toward the No. 3 receiver spot. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree seem locked into starting spots on the outside. Kenbrell Thompkins has had a solid camp in that role, and Streater won’t waltz into that spot within an upgraded receiver corps.
“It’s exciting, and it pushed me harder to come back,” Streater said. “It’s great to see them work well in this offense and be successful. It’s a good group of receivers on this roster.”
Streater has a track record from his first two seasons, including a career best 60 catches for 888 yards in 2013, his last healthy season. Being able to hop back into the mix was a bonus for the Raiders, who added another quality receiver to the mix on Sunday.
“He looks good. He looks fresh,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He passed a conditioning test and showed he was ready to go. It was good to see him back out there.”