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ALAMEDA – The playing status of middle linebacker Nick Roach hasn’t changed much in recent weeks. That isn’t a good thing.
He’s been limited in practice for nearly three weeks and hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on Aug. 22 against the Green Bay Packers.
Roach still hasn’t been fully cleared for contact, and likely won’t attempt the final portion of the NFL’s concussion protocol again until just before Sunday’s game against New England.
“That’s something that we continue to look at and see if this is going to get better,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “Obviously, number one, any time you have a concussion there’s a concern, and then obviously with the length of time that it’s taken, there’s even a little bit more concern. He seems to continue to get a little bit better every day, and so hopefully he’ll keep getting better.”
Roach said last week that he’d obviously like to be back in the mix, but knows he can’t rush recovery from a concussion.
Miles Burris has started for Roach, but he might have to move outside if Sio Moore can’t play due to an ankle injury. That would likely put Kaluka Maiava in the middle, creating a starting lineup with two reserves and roving pass rusher Khalil Mack.
Burris has struggled in run defense relative to Roach, which has hurt the Raiders in this early season. He’s also put into a tough spot, playing middle linebacker after working on the outside throughout the preseason.
“He’s competing his tail off,” Allen said. “Obviously, he’s a guy that we’ve kind of moved around a little bit. … Obviously, with Nick [Roach]’s injury he’s had to play a little bit more Mike than what we had anticipated, especially early in the season, but he’s continuing to work. He’ll keep getting better every day.”