The Oakland Raiders will get a welcome addition back at practice Wednesday when cornerback Ron Bartell suits up for the first time since suffering a fractured scapula in his shoulder. Oakland placed Bartell on the reserve/injured list September 15th and this is the first week he is eligible to practice.
“He will practice Wednesday, yeah,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “At least that’s the anticipation as of today."”””
Bartell will not be eligible to play for another two weeks, but coming back to practice is a huge step forward. The Raiders brought him in to be the starting cornerback this offseason and he played well against the San Diego Chargers in week one before the injury. With the two week waiting period, Bartell will be able to ease back into football activities, but it seems like the shoulder injury is healed.
“No limitations that I’m really aware of,” Allen said of Bartell's injury.“ We’ll get him out there. The only limitation I see is just his physical conditioning as far as being ready to practice football for any significant length of time.”
After a rocky two game stretch where the Raiders gave up over 700 passing yards and seven touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning, the defense has responded well. One of the reasons is free safety Michael Huff's move to cornerback. He and Pat Lee have filled in well the last three weeks for Bartell and Shawntae Spencer. With Bartell back at practice and looking to be ready to play in a few weeks, Allen has a decision to make on who leaves the line-up.
“Well we have at least one week to think about that so we’re not even going to worry about making that decision yet,” Allen said.
Outside linebacker Aaron Curry, who has missed the entire season with a knee injury, returned to practice two weeks ago and is very close to being activated. Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Curry was considered to be activated. It appears that he is healthy enough to be back this week.
“There was a real thought about doing that,” Allen said. “The thing that we’ve got to consider is it’s not just about activating Curry, but somebody else has to come off the roster. It’s not as simple a decision as it might seem.”
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