ALAMEDA -– Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis sprained his left ankle in the regular-season opener, and hoped like heck to return for the next game. That proved to be a pipe dream.
The second-year pro missed consecutive weeks, leaving others to fill his spot next to veteran Dan Williams.
He was missed, especially in run defense. It looks like the Raiders will get him back for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
He practiced for the first time in over two weeks on Wednesday. In pads. As a full participant. That’s a positive sign for his progress and playing status, assuming he doesn’t have a setback.
Ellis could help should the Raiders go back to a 3-4 look, with Williams at nose tackle flanked by tackles playing an interior technique. Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith were generally rushing out wide on the edges.
Defensive end Justin Tuck and safety Charles Woodson skipped practice, as per their new veteran routine. It shouldn’t impact their playing status against the Bears.
Several role-playing Raiders missed their season’s first workout with injury on Wednesday. That group includes running back Taiwan Jones (foot), cornerback Keith McGill (foot) and defensive tackle C.J. Wilson (calf). Wilson missed most of the Browns game with injury.
Linebacker Ben Heeney was also limited with a hamstring strain.
Edge rusher Benson Mayowa continues to miss work with a knee strain. He has been out since preseason’s end.
Raiders participation report
Did not practice: DE/LB Benson Mayowa (knee), S Charles Woodson (shoulder), DE Justin Tuck (knee), RB Taiwan Jones (foot), CB Keith McGill (foot), DT C.J. Wilson (calf)
Limited practice: LB Benn Heeney (hamstring)
Full participation: DT Justin Ellis (ankle), FB Jamize Olawale (ankle)
Bears participation report
Did not practice: OT Jermon Bushrod (concussion, shoulder), P Pat O’Donnell (knee)
Limited practice:QB Jay Cutler (hamstring), DL Ego Ferguson (knee), WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), DL Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle), DL Will Sutton (elbow)