Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said on Sunday that rookie tight end was very close to a return to practice.
He wasn't kidding. The third-round pick was back at practice on Tuesday, following a Monday off day. Walford missed the first nine practices of Raiders' training camp, but finally got back in the mix on Tuesday afternoon.
Walford had been dealing with a hamstring injury, a source confirmed, that he suffered during pre-camp workouts with rookies, quarterbacks and previously injured players. Training camp practices missed are magnified for a rookie, who needs every available second to learn the NFL game and a new offensive scheme.
Walford is still expected to be a major contributor as a rookie and be the team's top all-around tight end.
Incumbent starter Mychal Rivera had worked with the first team as a receiving tight end in Walford’s absence and played well.
Raiders announce Clive Walford is back at practice. Story coming soon.— Scott Bair (@BairCSN) August 12, 2015
Stay tuned for reaction from Walford and Del Rio after Tuesday evening's practice.
Also, linebacker Sio Moore, running back Roy Helu and receiver Rod Streater remain out, among others. Running back Michael Dyer returned to action after a few days out.