ALAMEDA, Calif. — C.J. Anderson attended an Oakland Raiders’ football camp as a youth. But until this week, he hadn’t been back to the team’s headquarters.
The Raiders announced on Wednesday the signing of Anderson, a Vallejo, California, native who grew up rooting for the team. He played in the Pac-12 at California before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2013. He was released Nov. 12 by the Carolina Panthers.
“We’ll just take it one day at a time,” Anderson said. “Right now, I’ve got four weeks. Just trying to put my best foot forward, trying to help this team win some games. That’s the No. 1 goal.”
Anderson was signed as the Raiders’ fourth running back on the active roster. The signing comes as a precaution because the team isn’t sure if Doug Martin (knee injury) can play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Touches were difficult to come by for Anderson in a Panthers backfield in which Christian McCaffrey was heavily featured.
Anderson had 24 carries for 104 yards in nine games.
After his release, Anderson was recruited by playoff-caliber teams, including AFC West rival the Kansas City Chiefs, but decided to return home and play for the Raiders. He said a major reason was coach Jon Gruden.
“Just the energy,” Anderson said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for (Gruden). Super smart. That goes a long way. I’ve been on three different teams now, and I’ve had a lot of different coaching staffs. Finding smart coaches helps players a lot, and that was one of the decisions.”
Linebacker Kyle Wilber (hamstring) was the only Raider who did not practice Wednesday.
Center Rodney Hudson (ankle/knee), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (ankle), guard Gabe Jackson (knee/ankle), defensive end Arden Key (knee), guard Kelechi Osemele (toe), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (neck) and cornerback Daryl Worley (shoulder) were limited in Wednesday’s practice.
Donald Penn practiced for the first time since suffering a groin injury in Week 4. He is eligible to be activated this season from injured reserve.
Gruden praised Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown on Wednesday, calling him the “hardest working player” he’s seen practice. “I’ve seen Jerry Rice, I’ve seen a lot of good ones, but I put Antonio Brown at the top,” Gruden said.
Contact Chris Booker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Bookerc94 on Twitter.