NAPA, Calif. — It was July 31, the day an Ohio grand jury declined to indict Gareon Conley for an April rape allegation, that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie met with a large group of reporters just north of the team’s practice field.
McKenzie expressed his happiness for Conley, who could move on from a monthslong legal cloud.
He also shed light on why Conley had yet to partake in training camp.
“He’s got the shin splints,” McKenzie said. “It could be a few days. I really don’t know the particulars, but once he starts running and not feeling pain, it shouldn’t take that long. We’re just going to give him some time to heal up and get him out there.”
That seemed to clear up the situation — until Thursday.
The Raiders’ first-round pick contradicted on Twitter the July 31 disclosure. Conley has yet to practice during the two weeks of training camp. He remains on the team’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list with an ailment whose exact nature now appears unclear.
“Now I got shin splints lol,” he wrote in a since-deleted post.
“I don’t have shin splints lol,” he wrote in another. He followed up to a responder: “Lol You good bruh I ain’t trippin just a lot of people think they know what’s going on when they don’t it’s funny to me tho.”
Conley also retweeted and “liked” several fans’ responses.
“Media making up more fake news,” one such comment read.
After Conley’s posts, the Raiders declined to comment on the situation. The Raiders do not make injured players available for comment.
Three practices next week are all that remain of training camp. It is unclear if Conley, 22, will participate. The cornerback certainly will not play Saturday in the exhibition opener against the Cardinals inGlendale, Arizona. The team also is expected to be without safety Obi Melifonwu, its second-round pick. He’s missed practice with an undisclosed injury.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end Khalil Mack also have missed sessions with undisclosed injuries. For Cooper, it’s six straight and for Mack three in a row. Cooper’s situation is believed to be related to his left leg.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio did not specify Thursday which key players won’t play Saturday in the exhibition opener, which kicks off at 7 p.m.
It’s fair to expect a good-sized list.
There are the aforementioned candidates like Cooper, Mack, Melifonwu and Conley who haven’t practiced of late. Given Cooper is out and left tackle Donald Penn is holding out, there may be little upside of putting in quarterback Derek Carr or even running back Marshawn Lynch.
“We haven’t really settled on what we’re going to do with reps across the way,” Del Rio said. “We don’t typically play the front line a great deal in the first game. We’ll see when we get there.”
Backup center Jon Feliciano won’t play Saturday. He made his training-camp debut Thursday after being activated from the PUP list. It was his first practice since a June 9 knee injury during organized team activities.
Defensive lineman Jihad Ward appears to be nearing a return from the PUP list. He was injured at the same practice as Feliciano and later underwent surgery.
Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at email@example.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.