The Raiders are coming fresh off the bye week and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Raiders are nursing a host of injuries and spent extra week getting Carson Palmer ready and advance scouting for the Chargers next Thursday. The coaching staff also spent time evaluating their own team so don’t be surprised if there are a few changes in the starting lineup come Sunday.
Several Raiders receivers stayed in Alameda during the bye week to work with Palmer on timing and routes. Palmer has extensive homework to do getting to know the Raiders playbook and the game plan for the Broncos. The Raiders coaching staff also took a look at T.J. Houshmandzadeh and he will have a physical Tuesday. Housh is very familiar with Palmer and Hue Jackson, so it comes as little surprise the Raiders would take a look at him. One of Derek Hagan or Chaz Schilens would probably be out if the Raiders brought in the veteran receiver.
Everyone is hoping Darren McFadden’s foot sprain was minor and that he will be healthy enough to play this Sunday. The prelimary indications on the severity of the foot injury targeted today’s practice as an important indicator. Both the team and the fans are hoping the Raiders best offensive player is back for an important showdown with Tim Tebow’s Broncos.
The Raiders will find out today if a few days work with the receivers was enough to get Carson Palmer comfortable. The rest of the season hinges on Palmer’s play. The Raiders were fringe playoff caliber team with Jason Campbell leading the way. Palmer needs to be better considering how much the Raiders gave the Bengals to acquire him.
The Raiders face the Broncos Sunday in a division game at home versus Tim Tebow and the two-win Broncos. Division games are always an adventure, but the Raiders can’t afford a letdown versus this caliber of team. The Broncos traded away Brandon Lloyd and Tim Tebow is the unquestioned starter. The season isn’t getting any younger and the Raiders can’t afford to drop to 4-4 headed into San Diego on a short week.