63°F
weather icon Clear

5 things to watch: Raiders vs. Packers

Updated August 23, 2018 - 7:18 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders’ last exhibition produced a strange workday for quarterback Derek Carr.

No uniform. No throws in warmups. No game snaps.

“It was weird to actually go to the stadium and not do anything,” said Carr, who watched Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in shorts and a T-shirt. “I’m not going to try and get used to that anytime soon.”

Carr is expected to see actual work Friday evening against the Green Bay Packers. Coach Jon Gruden said that he anticipates his starters will play into the second quarter. This represents the most significant action of the preseason for the top units, which is fairly common for a team’s third exhibition; it is often referred to as a regular-season “dress rehearsal.”

No starters are likely to play next Thursday at the Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers apparently will take a different approach Friday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly will be among the offensive starters not to appear in the game.

Here are five things to watch.

1 All right, Penn

The Raiders are expected to enter the season with rookie Kolton Miller at left tackle and veteran Donald Penn at right.

For the latter, this matchup will be a litmus test.

Penn missed the entire spring while recovering from a right-foot Lisfranc fracture he suffered last December. On Aug. 14, he finally returned to practice. He’s since worked exclusively at right tackle after having spent nearly his entire NFL career on the left side.

Perhaps no starter needs Friday’s exhibition more than Penn.

The 35-year-old is still working to get into football shape while four-quarter assignment on Sept. 10 versus the Rams looms.

“The big thing we just want to see is some progress in his conditioning,” Gruden said. “We want to see progress in Kolton Miller and our entire offense, honestly. It’s been a while since they played. (The Detroit Lions game on Aug. 10) seems like a long time ago.”

2 Slot wide receiver

Someone has to seize this spot sometime.

The Raiders pride themselves on developing versatility from their receivers, teaching them to play multiple positions to diversify how they attack opponents over the course of a season. They trust Amari Cooper. They trust Jordy Nelson. They want someone who can entrench himself as the No. 3 option behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson.

Seth Roberts missed the first two exhibitions after a concussion earlier this month. He is expected to make his preseason debut Friday. Martavis Bryant has dealt with inconsistency rooted in his practices and overall grasp of Gruden’s scheme. The Raiders are looking for either to emerge.

Ryan Switzer and Griff Whalen also are competing as slot options.

3 Special teams

Anyone looking to piece together the Sept. 1 makeup of the Raiders’ 53-man roster should not underestimate Rich Bisaccia’s influence on it.

The special teams coordinator oversees a unit with a new kicker, new punter, new long snapper, new kick returner and new punt returner in 2018. Now, his eyes are on piecing together protection and coverage teams that can round out his units.

Some attention should be on Bisaccia’s flyers in punt coverage.

Wide receiver Johnny Holton is expected to occupy one spot. Friday will reveal the possible favorite for the other. Cornerback Shareece Wright received a look against the Rams, but he exited with an untimely hamstring injury and has yet to practice since. The team signed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Wednesday.

Wide receiver Dwayne Harris is a capable option; however, in a deep group of wide receivers, it’s unclear if that is enough to warrant a roster spot.

4 More from Arden

Arden Key got his feet wet Saturday in his preseason debut.

He is building toward a splash.

The Raiders hope defensive end Khalil Mack will rejoin the team in time for Week 1. In case he surprises and doesn’t, Key must be prepared for significant snaps versus the Rams. The third-round pick and former LSU defensive end rushed the quarterback only eight times last weekend, seven of which were on third down.

A heavier workload is expected to be placed on his plate Friday.

Arden missed the preseason opener against Detroit to an ankle sprain.

5 Medical

Carr could throw two interceptions. Running back Marshawn Lynch could fumble twice. Linebacker Bruce Irvin could miss every tackle and cornerback Gareon Conley could allow long scores.

Fine. So be it.

Just get out healthy.

With the starters seeing more snaps, the most important development to come from Friday’s tilt with Green Bay is the simplest: avoid injury. Overall, the team has done well in this area thus far. Gruden will maneuver his way through the first half when balancing the importance of preparing and protecting players for the regular season.

If all goes well, head athletic trainer H. Rod Martin and his staff will see as little action as Carr did Saturday in Los Angeles.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Raiders Videos
Raiders Stadium Gets New Angles From Above - VIDEO
The Raiders Stadium Authority has released new drone footage of the Las Vegas Stadium.
Kolton Miller vows to be better for the Raiders in 2019
After suffering several injuries in his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders, a healthy Kolton Miller vows to perform better at left tackle and talks about the potential the offensive line has.
Carr says to get used to him, he'll be around awhile
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr responds to rumors that team was going to draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft with the intention of replacing him.
Raiders Stadium on Schedule For Completion, Safety Standards - VIDEO
The Raiders Stadium continues its construction on schedule and reporters Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and special guest project director on the Las Vegas Stadium Paul Dudzinsky go over all the latest updates.
Carr says he's making strides in Gruden's offense
Derek Carr, Doug Martin, Kolton Miller and Tyrell Williams discuss their experiences in the offseason, getting to work together and how their roles will be defined as training gets underway organized team activities.
Gruden says Raiders improved supporting cast should help Carr this season
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about how the team chemistry is developing, what areas the they've improved their roster and how it'll help quarterback Derek Carr.
Raiders practice facility taking shape
The Las Vegas Raiders 323,000-square-foot headquarters and practice facility in Henderson targeted to complete construction by spring of 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders stadium canopy truss install time-lapse
Sixty-five ton canopy truss is lifted into place on Raiders stadium.
Vegas Nation: Raiders add another Clemson player on Day 3 of the NFL Draft
The Raiders added a third player from Clemson on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. They selected wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with no. 149 overall pick. The Review-Journal's Heidi Fang reviews some of the picks announced at the Las Vegas Stadium, the future home of the Raiders.
Raiders draft picks announced at the Las Vegas Stadium - VIDEO
Along with the Raiderettes, Las Vegas Stadium construction worker Dave Durbin announces the Raiders no.106 pick, former defensive end out of Eastern Michigan Maxx Crosby, and no. 129 pick, former Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson, from the future home of the Raiders during day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: What the Raiders gain with draft day trades - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders made a pair of trades to gain some value in the remaining rounds of the NFL Draft. The Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken and Heidi Fang break down those moves, what positions the Raiders could look to fill in the coming rounds and more at the conclusion of day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock recaps the team's moves and selection in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft
The Raiders made two trades which gave them picks in later rounds and moved down in the second-round to grab the 40th pick overall on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft. General Manager Mike Mayock explains the moves and talks about their new cornerback from Clemson, Trayvon Mullen.
Raiders first-round draft picks embrace team's culture, tradition
Josh Jacobs, Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram talk about the rich culture and tradition the Raiders organization is built on and what it means to them to be a Raider.
Raiders first-rounders already familiar with each other on the field - VIDEO
Running back Josh Jacobs recalls a confrontation he had with a Clemson defender. Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram chime in on their past meetings with Jacobs.
Raiders' first-rounders on fighting adversity - VIDEO
Running back Josh Jacobs was homeless. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell lost his father at 13-years-old. Safety Johnathan Abram has a daughter he wants to provide for. The Raiders first-round picks talk about how their past experiences fuel them to push through adversity.
The Oakland Raiders first-round draft picks on the team heading to Vegas - VIDEO
With the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas in the 2020 season, the team's 2019 draft picks - Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram - talk about what they imagine it'll be like to play in a state-of-the-art stadium
Josh Jacobs Can't Wait to Move to "Tax Free" Las Vegas - Video
Drafted 24th overall by the Oakland Raiders, former Alabama running back Josh Jacobs can't wait to move to "tax free" Las Vegas in the coming seasons.
Raiders' Mayock and Gruden expect first round picks to be leaders
The Oakland Raiders selected Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs and Safety Johnathan Abram with their no. 4, 24 and 27 pick, respectively. Head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock break down why they chose their picks and what they expect from them.
Dabo Swinney Says Raiders Picked Right with Clelin Ferrell - Video
LVRJ sports columnist Ed Graney spoke with Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney in Nashville about the Raiders decision to draft DB Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 pick.
Raiders Select Clelin Ferrell 4th Overall In 2019 Nfl Draft - Video
With the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select DE Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson.
Marshawn Lynch Retires, Raiders Draft Pick Preview - Video
The Oakland Raiders are preparing for their 2019 draft pick in the first round, but Marshawn Lynch has announced he is retiring and will not be playing next season. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the potential Raiders 2019 draft pick and Marshawn Lynch's retirement.
Vegas Nation: 2019 NFL Draft Predictions - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders have three first round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Michael Gehlken breaks down possible options for the silver and black before Thursday's draft.
Vegas Nation: 2019 NFL Draft Predictions - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders have three first round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Michael Gehlken breaks down possible options for the silver and black before Thursday's draft.
Raiders Stadium Area Property Causing Developers Hurdles
With property values increasing around the new Raiders stadium in Las Vegas, what other barriers do developers face?
Will Land Around Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Turn To Gold
Property owners around the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium are getting a lot of inquiries about selling.
Will developers face hurdles with property near Raiders stadium?
With property values increasing around the new stadium what other barriers do developers face? (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Will land around Raiders stadium turn to gold?
With values increasing, property owners around the new Raiders stadium are getting a lot of inquiries about selling. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Raiders Backup Plans and Deadline for Stadium - VIDEO
The Raiders Stadium is closer to being completed as the weeks go by. Reporters Ed Graney and Rick Velotta bring all the updates including from the stadium authority meeting and new technology being used.
The Cast of FS1's "Lock It In" talk Raiders and Golden Knights futures
With Las Vegas growing as a pro sports town, the cast of Fox Sports 1's "Lock It In" give their betting predictions on if the Vegas Golden Knights can make another run at the Stanley Cup and if the Raiders will make a Super Bowl in 2020.
Raiders Make Trades, Let Go Of Players During Free Agency - VIDEO
As NFL free agency continues, the Raiders continue to build off of acquiring Steelers player Antonio Brown. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over all of the key acquisitions and signings as well as who was let go of the roster.
Latin Chamber of Commerce hosts Las Vegas sports leaders
The Fourth Annual Latin Chamber of Commerce Business and Networking Luncheon hosted a panel of sports leaders to discuss the economic power of sports in Las Vegas and their contributions to the Latino community. (Michael Quine / Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Antonio Brown Raiders Press Conference Highlights - VIDEO
Antonio Brown gives his first press conference as a Raider from the team's headquarters in Alameda, California on March 13, 2019. (Courtesy: The Raiders)
Raiders Trade for Antonio Brown - VIDEO
Former Steelers' WR Antonio Brown will be making his way to Oakland after a late-night trade between the two organizations was made public.
Mike Mayock Settling in as Raiders' GM
As the NFL Combine is in full swing, Raiders beat writer for the Las Vegas Review- Journal Michael Gehlken gives us an update from Indianapolis regarding Mike Mayock and his roll as the Raiders' general manager.
Mike Mayock set for first NFL Scouting Combine with Raiders - VIDEO
How Mike Mayock will approach the NFL Scouting Combine might be a mystery, given this combine is his first as Raiders general manager and a league front-office employee, if not for the hours of conference calls, news conferences and real-time TV commentary he has produced.
Las Vegas musician Rick Maiani writes promotional theme song for Raiders
Las Vegas musician Rick Maiani talks about writing a theme song for the NFL's Raiders, his musical background and having been high school teammates with UNLV legend Randall Cunningham. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST