NAPA – Denico Autry spent significant time away from the practice field this spring and summer. A right wrist injury early in the offseason program saw to that, keeping the versatile Raiders defensive lineman sidelined an extended stretch.
His fallow streak ended on Friday, when he was taken off the physically unable to perform list and activated in time for the workout without pads. Autry was limited, primarily involved in individual drills. He went through some intense work on the side, and seems close to a full return despite wearing a heavy wrap on his right arm.
Autry was happy to be back, especially after a rehab that took longer than expected.
“It was tough,” Autry told reporters after practice. “I had a little setback, but I’ve got to keep striving every day to get where I was at and get better.”
Autry tried to keep up on the mental side, making sure he was prepared when health permitted a return.
“I’ve been in the playbook a lot, (watching) film,” Autry said. “We get to take our iPads with us so I’ve pretty much been in the playbook (whenever possible).”
Autry is a relatively unheralded member of the defensive front, but someone heavily counted on this season. At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds Autry should be a closed end in the base defense and an interior pass rusher on passing downs, able to rotate in with Jihad Ward on the defensive line.
Autry hopped in with the first team, and should be a member of line rotation at the least.
“We’ve got a nice group of young guys,” Autry said. “They’re talented, so it’s going to be great playing with them.”
Raiders pull back: The Raiders worked out in light shells on Friday, snapping a streak of four straight practices in pads with just one off day in between. They still worked a full speed but trimmed a half hour off proceedings to prepare the group for two more intense padded sessions this weekend.
Catch of the day: WR Max McCaffrey made an excellent grab near the sideline, snagging a Matt McGloin pass over his shoulder while tapping both feet in bounds to validate the completion.
Other notes from Raiders practice:
-- S Karl Joseph returned to practice after what head coach Jack Del Rio said was a planned day off on Thursday. TE Clive Walford also returned to work after missing a day, as the Raiders exercise caution as he returns from an offseason knee injury.
-- SLB Shilique Calhoun continues to impress as a pass rusher. He was often in the backfield during Friday’s practice, and had at least one simulated sack.
-- ILB John Lotulelei saw some time with the first unit, working inside with Ben Heeney. The Raiders have mixed up their units some so players can get used to working with different teammates.
-- TE Clive Walford made a nice catch in his return after a day missing practice over the middle working with Derek Carr.
-- CB TJ Carrie reportedly had a pick six interception off of Matt McGloin.
Daily transactions: The Raiders claimed DB Tramain Jones and LB Lenny Jones off waivers, and waived DL/LB Damontre Moore and waived/injured CB SaQwan Edwards.
Returned to practice: S Karl Joseph, TE Clive Walford
Did not practice: , RB Taiwan Jones, DL Leon Orr, TE Colton Underwood
Next practice: The Raiders will practice on Saturday morning, the fourth session in as many days.