ALAMEDA – Friday was an important mile marker along Rodney Hudson’s comeback trail. He practiced in a limited capacity on Thursday after two calendar weeks with a sprained right ankle, and his response to the activity would influence his availability for Sunday’s game against Kansas City.
It would be a good sign if he could rebound and participate in Friday’s walk-thru practice. His absence sends the opposite signal.
Hudson worked on the side during the week’s final practice session, prompting the Raiders to label him doubtful for the biggest game of the season thus far.
Hudson is not expected to play against Kansas City, leaving Tony Bergstrom to make his third start in the last four games.
Sunday would represent Hudson’s first crack at the team he represented before signing with Oakland in free agency. It seems unlikely he’ll get that shot, though the Raiders are holding out hope with a doubtful designation.
Losing a player of Pro Bowl caliber is never good for an offense, especially at such a vital position, and losing him hurts. Coaches have praised Bergstrom’s effort and don’t believe the drop off is extreme in protection or run blocking.
“Tony stepped right in and has done a nice job,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “We have felt great about when Tony’s been in there.”
It could prove a difficult matchup on the inside against Chief defensive tackle Dontari Poe, but Bergstrom will certainly receive help slowing him down.
The offensive tackles have a lighter load with Kansas City star edge rusher Justin Houston being ruled out with a knee injury. He has 7.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two interceptions this year, so playing without him makes life a little easier on the Oakland offensive front. They still must deal with Tamba Hali (6.5 sacks) and first-round rookie Dee Ford, who will see additional snaps with Houston out.
The Raiders will out be without role players in linebacker Neiron Ball (knee) and cornerback Keith McGill. Running back Taiwan Jones (knee) is doubtful after practicing earlier in the week. Cornerback Neiko Thorpe is questionable with a knee injury.
Here’s the full injury report:
Raiders injury report
Out: LB Neiron Ball (knee), CB Keith McGill (ankle)
Doubtful: C Rodney Hudson (ankle), RB Taiwan Jones (knee)
Questionable: CB Neiko Thorpe
Probable: S Charles Woodson (shoulder)
Chiefs injury report
Out: LB Justin Houston (knee), C Mitch Morse (concussion), WR De’Anthony Thomas (concussion), S Husain Abdullah (neck)
Questionable: OL Jeff Allen (ankle), DE Allen Bailey (calf)
Probable: OT Eric Fisher (neck), RB Charcandrick West (hamstring), P Dustin Colquitt (right knee), WR Chris Conley (hand) LB Dee Ford (back), TE Travis Kelce (groin), LB Josh Mauga (heel), RB Spencer Ware (hamstring), CB Marcus Cooper (thumb), DE Mike DeVito (shoulder), LB Tamba Hali (knee)