Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Alameda, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6:00, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
ALAMEDA –- After the Raiders sent two key linebackers to injured reserve within 24 hours, the ailing position group finally got some good news. Starting weakside linebacker Sio Moore was able to practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring his ankle Sept. 13 against the Houston Texans.
The Raiders missed his energy and athleticism in that span, especially as linebacker numbers dwindled.
A day after Kaluka Maiava’s season ended due to a hamstring pull -- and just hours after Roach’s year was laid to rest with lingering concussion-like symptoms -- Moore’s return was greeted with enthusiasm.
If he can play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, the post-Roach starting lineup of Moore, Miles Burris and Khalil Mack will be intact.
“I thought Sio looked good for his first day,” interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “We were careful with him. We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but we’re happy that he’s working his way back in.”
The Raiders also have fresh bodies in recently signed linebackers Jamar Chaney and Ray-Ray Armstong, who practiced for the first time as Raiders and are poised to provide depth in the immediate future.
Moore, though, will provide a spark if he can return to game action. He believes he will.
“It felt good to get back out there today,” Moore said. “You feel sick to your stomach when you can’t be out there with them. This was a positive step for me to get back and ready to play.”
Some other injury notes from Raiders camp:
-- Cornerback DJ Hayden, who has been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp began, worked out on the side during a portion of practice open to the media. He cut sharply, backpedalled well and made strong football moves in the session with a trainer. He is eligible to start practice next week.
-- It seems increasingly likely that Menelik Watson will start at right tackle against San Diego. Khalif Barnes missed his second straight practice with a knee strain suffered against Miami.
-- Fullback Marcel Reece (quad strain) returned after skipping Monday’s work.
-- Quarterback Derek Carr has shown no ill effects of knee and ankle sprains suffered in Week 4 against Miami. He was a limited participant in practice, though he is expected to play
Did not practice: RT Khalif Barnes (quad)
Limited participation: QB Derek Carr (ankle/knee), CB Keith McGill (groin), WLB Sio Moore (ankle), FB Marcel Reece (quad)
Physically unable to perform: DJ Hayden (foot)
Injured reserve: TE Nick Kasa (knee), CB Taiwan Jones (foot), SS Tyvon Branch (foot), MLB Nick Roach (concussion), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring)