ALAMEDA, Calif. — There was a little twist Friday to usual throwing activities in practice.
Before quarterback Derek Carr fielded a snap and threw to receivers, a Raiders coach used a bottle to spray the football with water. The act, of course, was designed to prepare the offense for moist conditions forecast for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
Only so much prep, however, could be done.
Rain is not the only element anticipated at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Raiders will play for the first time since Oct. 19. Some wind could be a factor, too. The latter generally is considered to have a more pronounced effect on a team’s passing game.
Wind also can impact a ball’s trajectory on special teams.
According to the National Weather Service, a 63 percent chance of rain exists come the 1:25 p.m. kickoff. That likelihood is forecast through the entirety of the game’s duration.
As for the wind, Oakland is anticipated to see 17 mph surface winds with 22 mph gusts in the late morning. Those figures will decrease to 15 and 18 mph by game time.
These conditions are hardly monsoon-like. But they are enough to monitor for potential impact on the game.
“I think wind is really the biggest detriment to game plans,” coach Jack Del Rio said Friday when speaking generally about inclement weather. “We don’t expect (it) to be as windy as it can be in certain places. It’ll be a little bit windy but mostly wet. … We’re prepared for it to be wet Sunday.”
Equipment manager Bobby Romanski and his staff are overseeing cleat types to minimize potential slipping.
Beyond that, players can adjust their own equipment, based on personal preference.
“Some guys are able to still play with gloves in certain types of rain; they like it,” said running back Jalen Richard, who also returns punts. “Other guys like to take the gloves off and actually feel the ball. I like to feel the ball. … Other than taking the gloves off, it’s football. Those rainy games are fun. This is when you get to really enjoy playing the game when it’s not the perfect conditions. …
“As a running back, I look forward to these games because I know where I’m going and (the defenders) don’t. They have to worry about slipping and those types of things. And I have to worry about staying on top of my feet and under body control. I look forward to the game. It’s a game at the end of the day. Other than switching your gloves and making sure you have the right gloves and footing, that’s all you really need.”