ALAMEDA – Raiders receiver Rod Streater is inching ever-closer to game action. He’s practicing on short-term injured reserve, where he was placed after fracturing his foot in a Week 3 loss to New England.
Interim head coach Tony Sparano won’t commit to his return before Sunday’s game against the 49ers, but it’ll happen in that game or the next. That would put seven receivers on the active roster, something the Raiders wouldn’t tolerate.
Streater could be exchanged for a position-mate, and Denarius Moore seems like the likeliest candidate.
He hasn’t played an offensive snap since a Week 10 loss to Denver, and has fallen behind more recent acquisitions. That’s crazy to fathom, considering Moore used to be the team’s top receiver. He led the Raiders in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2012.
He has just 12 catches for 115 yards, and now he can’t stay on the field.
“I think a little bit is just the progress of some of the other players,” Sparano said. “I think Kenbrell [Thompkins] has come on and done some good things in flashes and has shown us some good things. I think that Vincent Brown has come on and has shown us some good things there. We feel like at that position right now, there’s a couple of guys there that we’ve had to get a look at and we kind of like what we see there. D-Mo’s working hard out there. I appreciate what he’s doing out there on the field.
“…with (games in) the next four weeks, we’ll see. He may get another opportunity out there and if he does, I’m sure D-Mo’s ready to make the most of that opportunity. He’s practicing much better.”
Will that save him, especially with Streater so close to a return? It might be tough.
“(Streater) has a chance to be up, so that receiver room is getting a little bit crowded,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “There is still a lot of competition that goes on on a daily basis and you always have to compete out there at practice with the rest of the wide receiver room.”
Did not practice: S Jonathan Dowling (back), TE Brian Leonhardt (concussion), RT Menelik Watson (foot, ankle)
Limited participation: CB Neiko Thorpe (hand), Tarell Brown (foot)
Full participation: RB Latavius Murray (concussion)
Injured reserve: CB Carlos Rogers (knee), TE David Ausberry (foot), TE Nick Kasa (knee), CB Taiwan Jones (foot), SS Tyvon Branch (foot), MLB Nick Roach (concussion), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps), S Usama Young (knee)