ALAMEDA – The Raiders have been woefully thin at receiver all season long. They haven’t had more than two healthy receivers with over 100 receiving yards to their credit active at the same time.
That’s a realistic possibility on Sunday afternoon.
Denarius Moore practiced Wednesday for the first time in nearly a month and has a strong chance of playing Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s been out with a shoulder injury since Nov. 17.
Moore will be able to re-team with Rod Streater and have Andre Holmes as an additional receiving threat.
Holmes commands greater respect following a two-game stretch with 10 catches for 199 yards. Streater has been even more effective of late, as the traditional passing game has improved under quarterback Matt McGloin.
Having Moore back would add strength to the position. He’s the Raiders most talented, albeit inconsistent, receiver. He runs well after the catch and can turn simple slants into big plays.
“He’s a real threat as a playmaker,” Holmes said. “He commands respect. Having Denarius out there should open things up and make things easier on all of us.”
Moore injured his shoulder against Houston. He landed hard on the unforgiving turf trying to secure a diving catch. He was pulled from the game and held out an extended period. Wednesday’s return went well.
“I thought he moved around pretty good,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “…I thought he was able to be functional. It’s a matter of how he responds (on Thursday). If he continues to respond positively, there’s a chance he plays on Sunday.”
With Moore back, one member of the top three will move into the slot. That rotation will vary, although Holmes feels far more comfortable on the outside. Streater could work in there, and has had success playing in the middle of the field.
No matter who plays where, Allen seems increasingly confident in his options at receiver.
“If we’re able to get Denarius back and add him to the mix, that would be a good thing,” he said. “We’ve got some real weapons at the receiver spot.”