ALAMEDA, Calif. — Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will have a homecoming of sorts Sunday.
Guenther spent 13 years with the Cincinnati Bengals organization. During his first nine seasons, Guenther was an assistant coach for the Bengals. He would be promoted to defensive coordinator in 2014 after Mike Zimmer left to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
The majority of Guenther’s NFL coaching career was in Cincinnati. A return to southwest Ohio will be an emotional one.
“Naturally,” Guenther said. “There’s people who were real good to me. I spent a lot of time with those players and the organization, the Brown family. The coaching staff means a lot to me. They still do.”
The Bengals made the playoffs twice with Guenther as defensive coordinator. In 2015, Guenther oversaw one of the best defenses in Cincinnati’s history, ranking second in the NFL in points allowed — the highest defensive ranking by any team in franchise history.
Guenther became the Raiders’ defensive coordinator this season. This Sunday, he’ll be on the other sideline for the first time.
“When toe meets leather at 1 o’clock it’s business,” Guenther said. “I root for those guys every week and I hope they do good except for one game, which is this one.”
— Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele (toe) is ruled out against the Bengals. Osemele was injured in last week’s victory over the Steelers, but missed practice all week because of his injury. Guard Chaz Green, who the Raiders signed Nov. 27, is expected to make his first start since Week 10 of 2017.
— Starting right guard Gabe Jackson (elbow/ankle) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday. Jackson did not participate in practice this week. Coach Jon Gruden said Denzelle Good would start at right guard if Jackson can’t play.
— Wide receiver Dwayne Harris (foot), center Rodney Hudson (ankle/knee), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (ankle), cornerback Daryl Worley (shoulder), fullback Keith Smith (calf), linebacker Kyle Wilber (hamstring), and tight end Lee Smith (back) were limited in Friday’s practice. Wilber and Hurst are questionable for Sunday.
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