August 5, 2017 - 3:32 pm
Updated August 5, 2017 - 11:50 pm
NAPA, Calif. — Keith McGill will be sidelined for the rest of training camp.
The Raiders safety suffered a Jones fracture on Saturday, a source said, and will require foot surgery. The exact timetable of his recovery will gain clarity after further evaluation, but it is possible he won’t be ready for Week 1. McGill is a core special teams contributor who was competing in camp for a rotational role in the secondary.
A Jones fracture relates to the foot’s fifth metatarsal.
McGill was on crutches after practice, his right foot in a protective boot.
He played 281 special-teams snaps in 2016, second-most among all returning players. The Raiders already were facing significant turnover in that department. Of the seven players who appeared in at least 240 special-teams snaps last year, only fullback Jamize Olawale and McGill are still on the 90-man roster.
Now, Olawale could be the only one to face the Tennessee Titans in the Sept. 10 season opener. Ironically, linebacker Daren Bates and safety Brynden Trawick saw the most special-teams work for the Raiders. Both signed with the Titans in March.
McGill, a 2014 fourth-round pick, also appeared on 147 defensive snaps in 2016. He finished with 14 tackles. The former Utah standout is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
The team is the process of determining its core special-teams contributors for this year.
“That’s what’s always exciting about a new season,” special teams coordinator Brad Seely said on Saturday. “We have to find some new guys. We have suspects and prospects. It’s early, so we’ll see what happens when the games start. That’s why we have these preseason games, to find out what guys do when the lights come on.”
— Connor Cook arguably had his best practice of camp Saturday. Highlights for the second-year quarterback included a perfectly placed dart to wide receiver Isaac Whitney over the middle of the field. If not his best throw of the summer, a connection later with wide receiver Jaydon Mickens on an intermediate crossing route was.
— Wide receiver Amari Cooper was sidelined for the third time in four practices. He appears to be dealing with a left leg injury of some sort. Meanwhile, three of the team’s four highest draft picks remain sidelined. First-round cornerback Gareon Conley (shin splits) hasn’t practiced yet in camp. Second-round safety Obi Melifonwu (undisclosed) and fourth-round tackle David Sharpe (ankle) missed their second straight day.
— The Raiders are taking an extended look at a retooled secondary. Cornerback Sean Smith worked with the second-team defense for a second consecutive practice, as veteran TJ Carrie and undrafted rookie Breon Bortons continued as the starting outside and nickel corners, respectively. Smith is collecting $9.5 million in 2017.
— Safety Shalom Luani, a seventh-round pick, ended practice with an interception off a broken-up pass. His ball skills and instincts have been on display all offseason. He’s making a strong, albeit still early, push for a 53-man roster spot.
— The team did not practice in pads Saturday. It was the first non-padded practice since Monday.
Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.
Raiders’ preseason schedule
Aug. 12: at Arizona, 7 p.m.
Aug. 19: Los Angeles Rams, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26: at Dallas, 5 p.m.
Aug. 31: Seattle, 7 p.m.