NAPA, Calif. — Jon Feliciano had quite the week this spring.
On May 31, he and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Shawn. Seven days later, the Raiders center-guard was practicing in an 11-on-11 drill when a teammate inadvertently fell into his right leg, causing a lateral meniscus tear that required arthroscopic knee surgery and forced him to miss the start of training camp.
He is back.
The third-year veteran participated Tuesday in team drills for the first time since his injury. He stepped in where he left off, working as the second-team center. He also took reps at left guard. The Raiders value Feliciano for his toughness and versatility, as he’s able to come off the bench and fill all three interior line positions as necessary.
Defensive end Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper returned to practice, too. First-round pick Gareon Conley remained sidelined. Safety Obi Melifonwu was in uniform, but the second-round pick continues to be extremely limited in what the Raiders coaches ask of him.
“It’s good to have him out,” coach Jack Del Rio said of Feliciano. “We’re getting healthier. That’s the goal: Get through this camp and condition and get the work in and get our guys healthy. He’s one that’s done well to get himself back at practice.”
Feliciano has expanded his game since the Raiders drafted him in the 2015 fourth round out of Miami.
He appeared at tackle and guard in college — never center — before offensive line coach Mike Tice and assistant Tim Holt developed him at the position. It has proven useful. The Raiders called upon Feliciano to start at center in their January playoff game against the Texans in place of Rodney Hudson.
Typically before a game, Feliciano does not know if he will appear at left guard, center or right guard.
He must be ready for all three.
“I study like I’m the starting center, and everything is easy from there,” Feliciano said. “If you’re playing center, you know what everyone is doing. It’s no big deal to switch to guard when you play center so much; you already know what’s going to happen. Playing center actually helped me out tremendously.”
Feliciano’s wife was there Tuesday, watching his return to practice. She did so while holding their 2-month-old daughter in her arms.
May 31 to June 6. Still a great week.
Lynch changes mind
A Raiders spokesman said that running back Marshawn Lynch considered speaking to reporters Tuesday about his decision to sit during the pre-game national anthem of Saturday’s exhibition loss to the Cardinals. Ultimately, Lynch declined to offer comment.
No news is no news
Del Rio made an exception Tuesday to his policy of not providing offseason injury updates on players. Except he didn’t. He disclosed that neither safety Keith McGill nor guard Denver Kirkland will practice again during training camp. This was known. McGill is coming off foot surgery to repair a fracture. Kirkland was carted off the sideline Saturday, unable to put pressure on his left leg. Training camp ends Thursday.
Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at email@example.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.