ALAMEDA –Raiders starters will see limited action in Thursday’s exhibition against Seattle. There are some notable, well known exceptions.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said left tackle Menelik Watson, cornerback D.J. Hayden and quarterback Terrelle Pryor will see extended playing time against the Seahawks to get a better evaluation on a trio that’s emerged late as possible starters during the regular season.
The Raiders are experimenting with Watson at left tackle, checking on Hayden’s durability and progress, and the prospect of Pryor starting at quarterback. All are big decisions. Allen will take as much game tape as possible to help make the right choice.
“There will be some guys that will see more action,” Allen said. “Even though they might run out there with the starting unit, there will be some guys that haven’t had as much play time during this preseason, and they’re going to need to go out there and play some.”
Allen wasn’t specific with how long those players will stay in, although Watson will play the longest. The second-round pick missed most of the preseason with a calf injury, and was slated to play right tackle until Jared Veldheer’s triceps injury and Alex Barron was unimpressive as his replacement.
“We feel like Watson’s athleticism gives us the best opportunity right now for our players on the roster right now,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “We thought we would take a look at him, although he has not played the position, he did show some things in the spring OTA’s that we felt at that time we were going to experiment a little bit allowing him to be the swing tackle in case something did happen with Jared. So, there was something in place, we did like what we saw last spring and now he’s going to get an opportunity to try and step into that role.”
[RELATED: Raiders' Watson put in new, tough spot]
Raiders sign kicker: The Raiders signed kicker Justin Medlock on Tuesday afternoon to kick in Thursday’s game. Sebastian Janikowski will skip the game with a right calf strain – he’ll be ready for the regular season – so Medlock will take over his duties for the week. Cornerback Mitchell White was released in a corresponding move.
Blocking TE competition: Jeron Mastrud and Richard Gordon are fighting to become the Raiders blocking tight end. Mastrud started last week and has received praise from Olson, but Gordon’s experience keeps him in the hunt. The loser of that position battle will likely get cut.
Stewart back in the fold: Jeremy Stewart was considered the odd man out heading toward the team’s final cut. With Latavius Murray headed to injured reserve, Stewart is in the mix. Rashad Jennings will be the backup, and Stewart seems set as the No. 3.
New injuries: RG Lucas Nix (knee), K Sebastian Janikowski (calf)
Returning from injuries: WR Rod Streater (concussion)
Still sidelined: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), LT Jared Veldheer (triceps), WR Brice Butler (hamstring).
Injured reserve: RB Latavius Murray (ankle), CB Joselio Hanson (groin)
Physically unable to perform list: LB Miles Burris (knee)
Quote of the day: “He hasn’t taken a snap in a game situation and he needs all the work he can get." -- Raiders coach Dennis Allen, on why Menelik Watson will play significant time against Seattle.