ALAMEDA -– D.J. Hayden strung a series of good practices together since becoming eligible to work on the physically unable to perform list, a prolonged stretch uncommon in his injury-plagued early career.
A groin strain snapped that streak. Hayden missed Wednesday’s practice, a minor setback for a player who had been performing better in the last two games. It would get bigger if Hayden can’t play the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
It’s uncertain if he will, though Hayden ran well during a side session with trainers.
“Anytime a young player misses practice, I’m concerned about it,” interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “From a fundamental standpoint it hurts you. From a game-planning standpoint, it’s harder for young players. We’d love to have him out there.”
The Raiders missed cornerback TJ Carrie against the Denver Broncos. Sparano chose to sit him after a pre-game workout didn’t go well. Carrie was expected to play then, and his odds of playing Sunday are better for skipping the last contest. He was limited in Wednesday's practice
“He ran a lot better today than he did before the game,” Sparano said. “We’ll have to see how that goes. He moved around well at the beginning of the week and progressively deteriorated a little bit. The time off from the game helped him get stronger. He’s a lot further ahead of where he was last week at this time.”
Other injury notes from Raiders practice:
-- Right tackle Menelik Watson skipped practice with a concussion, but he said that he would be fine. It’s possible that he could come back and play on Sunday.
-- Defensive end Justin Tuck missed practice with a neck injury, but Sparano was not concerned about the ailment at this stage.
-- Fullback Jamize Olwale did not participate with shoulder and hamstring issues. Practice squad linebacker Spencer Hadley played some fullback to take some work off Marcel Reece’s plate.
-- Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes was limited with a quadriceps injury that kept him out earlier this season, but Sparano intimated that veteran guard/tackle would be fine.
Did not practice: TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LG Gabe Jackson (knee), CB DJ Hayden (groin), RT Menelik Watson (concussion), DE Justin Tuck (neck), FB Jamize Olawale (shoulder, hamstring), S Jonathan Dowling (back)
Limited participation: CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB TJ Carrie (ankle), OL Khalif Barnes (quadriceps)
Injured reserve: TE Nick Kasa (knee), CB Taiwan Jones (foot), SS Tyvon Branch (foot), MLB Nick Roach (concussion), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps), S Usama Young (knee)