ALAMEDA – Sebastian Janikowski missed his second field goal in as many Raiders games on Sunday. That’s typically not cause for great concern.
With Janikowski, it raises an eyebrow. The veteran kicker rarely misses inside 50 yards, if ever. Janikowski had missed once within that threshold over two previous seasons, and sample size has nothing to do with it.
He’s 49-for-50 in that span. All of a sudden, Janikowski has gone cold. He missed from 48 yards Sept. 8 at Indianapolis and on Sunday he sent it wide left from 35.
Two things are different from years past -- the holder and a lingering calf injury. The injury has been minimized.
“The calf is fine,” Janikowski said last week.
That leaves coordination between Janikowski and new holder Marquette King. Janikowski downplayed that too, but head coach Dennis Allen said it might be a lingering psychological factor.
“Absolutely. I mean, there obviously was a comfort level with [former Raiders P] Shane [Lechler],” Allen said. “Those guys had worked so long together that there wasn’t much of a thought process that had to go into it. I still think we’re in a situation where ‘Seabass’ is still working to develop the confidence in Marquette as the holder.”
Allen said it’s tough to grade King’s holding on tape. The young punter is working overtime trying to get the holding motion down. He wants to give Janikowski a consistent hold, and to eliminate any mental hang-ups over time.
“The more these guys continue to work together,” Allen said. “The more they continue to go out there and get an opportunity and kick, I think that’s going to get worked out.”
Allen said left guard Lucas Nix had an MRI on his ankle. He suffered the injury during Sunday’s game against Jacksonville. His play suffered during the game, but Allen didn’t know exactly when the injury was sustained or how long Nix toughed it out.
“I’m not sure exactly when he hurt the ankle,” Allen said. “But, obviously, with some of the struggles, we decided to get him out of the game, so we went that direction.”
Andre Gurode filled in at left guard and would do so Monday if Nix can’t go.
The Raiders have an extra practice day prior to Monday’s game against the Denver Broncos. They’ll go through a normal practice schedule and add a workout on the back end. They’ll practice Wednesday-Friday and conducted walk-thrus after that in preparation for the AFC West clash in Denver.