NAPA -– The Raiders' offense was working downfield in a hurry, running a two-minute drill with the end zone as the only acceptable end point.
Starting lineups filled both sides of the football, as quarterback Derek Carr tried to throw his side to victory. He tried to find receiver Michael Crabtree on a deep route, but cornerback DJ Hayden slapped it away. A few plays later, Carr tested the matchup again and found Crabtree for a touchdown.
Crabtree tried to hand the ball to Hayden, who slapped it away.
The offense was happy with that final play of practice. It forced the defense to do push ups.
There was most always something at stake during a Raiders training camp fueled by competition. Crabtree’s catch concluded the last open practice at the Napa Valley Marriott. The team has a walk-thru in wine country before and after Saturday’s preseason game at Minnesota, but moving trucks starting breaking camp Thursday afternoon in preparation for a return to the team’s practice facility.
Del Rio hoped for a competitive camp, and he got one from start to finish.
“The time up here has been very productive,” Del Rio said. “The facilities here are really good and us being this close allows us an environment where we can be very productive teaching and we’re getting the work in on the field and in the meetings, and having the fans here has been great. So yes, it’s been a really productive time for us.”
Walford still out: Tight end Clive Walford missed his fourth practice of the week with an undisclosed injury. He’s practiced just twice in training camp, and played in the preseason affair against St. Louis. Missing this much time can impact a rookie expected to contribute right away, but Del Rio didn’t believe it was a serious hindrance.
“I wouldn’t add any drama to it,” Del Rio said. “I would say that the guys that mending will be back when they can. He’s one of those guys. I wouldn’t add the drama into it. We’ll get guys caught up that need to be caught up when it’s time.”
Other notes from Sunday’s practice:
-- Rookie linebacker Ben Heeney left Wednesday’s practice early and did not return, but was back in action Thursday and moved around without hindrance.
-- Matt McGloin ran all units during an early team drill, but Christian Ponder still conducts offense with the second team. He should do the same on Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings.
-- Receivers Brice Butler and Seth Roberts continue to see first and second team reps after a solid performance in last week’s exhibition against the St. Louis Rams. Both guys had early drops, but continue to fare well in practice.
-- The Raiders seem to be limiting running back Latavius Murray’s reps in practice. Murray is clearly the first option at running back, and keeping him fresh for the regular season would seem to be of high concern for the coaching staff.
-- Trent Richardson has seen more first-unit reps with Murray backing off some. Michael Dyer has taken a few as well.
-- Neiko Thorpe continues to get reps as the nickel cornerback, especially with Keith McGill skipping practice with injury.
Daily transactions: None
Returned to practice: WR Kris Durham
Did not practice: LB Sio Moore, RB Roy Helu Jr., FB Jamize Olawale, WR Andre Holmes, TE Clive Walford, CB Keith McGill
Next practice: The Raiders travel to Minnesota on Friday for Saturday’s preseason game against the Vikings. They have a walk-thru on Sunday that is not open to the press. The Raiders don’t have media availability until Wednesday, after their first practice back at their Alameda training complex.