NAPA, Calif. — Three takeaways from Day 14 of Raiders training camp:
The Raiders downshifted into a nonpadded practice Wednesday as they begin to conclude camp.
They nonetheless managed to be productive while focusing on situational work.
“Normally (in) the last real practice at training camp, a lot of people get a little bit distracted,” coach Jon Gruden said. “What we did is we went out and really challenged our guys with short yardage, goal-line backed up, two-minute, no-huddle, desperation field goals. Covered a lot of ground. Our guys did a nice job. We got our team rejuvenated physically a little bit after two long, padded practices for the upcoming game.”
The team will face the Los Angeles Rams in a Saturday exhibition.
It’ll first hold its final camp practice on Thursday morning.
Gruden has been fairly forthcoming in regard to medical updates this offseason. That makes the lack of detail surrounding safety Obi Melifonwu’s situation that much more troubling.
On Aug. 6, Melifonwu saw significant first-team action as one of four safeties available to practice. Somewhere along the way, he suffered an injury that has sidelined him since. Melifonwu missed the bulk of his rookie year to knee and hip surgeries.
Recently, Gruden called the injury a “flare up” related to his “lower body.” He had no further update Wednesday on the former second-round pick.
“He’s being evaluated,” Gruden said, “and we’ll have some information hopefully when we get back to Alameda.”
Melifonwu won’t play Saturday.
Something or nothing
Undrafted rookie kicker Eddy Pineiro walked off the field with an athletic trainer shortly before practice started. He did not return.
What this means will gain clarity Thursday.
However unusual, Pineiro’s absence was insignificant in the scope of the practice, given veteran Mike Nugent was due to handle all the kicking. The Raiders generally have alternated kicking assignments each day, so Pineiro is expected to be called upon Thursday. Should he answer without limitation, the exit will prove much ado about nothing.
Pineiro remains the favorite to win the Raiders’ kicking job.
Nugent, however, was notably fantastic on Wednesday, converting all seven field-goal attempts with a long of 50.