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Raiders report: Lineman hopes to atone for infamous ‘SportsCenter’ moment

Thayer Munford has done a lot of great things on the football field as he continues to develop into a solid tackle for the Raiders.

But rarely does an offensive lineman go viral for a positive moment. They can do their job perfectly well 99 percent of the time and yet the one play that goes poorly can end up leading ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Or in the case of Munford’s last matchup with edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, getting millions of views on social media.

It was December 2021 when Hutchinson, then a star at Michigan, ran through Ohio State’s Munford and created a highlight that would be played on every NFL draft preview show when Hutchinson was in consideration for the top pick the following spring.

What was rarely seen were the good reps in which Hutchinson was neutralized. What was rarely talked about was that Munford had kicked back out from guard and didn’t have many reps at tackle.

So the small snapshot of their career as college rivals has lived in infamy. But Munford, whose playing time has been steadily increasing at right tackle, gets another shot against Hutchinson when the Raiders visit the Lions on “Monday Night Football.”

“I can’t wait for it,” Munford said. “But, of course, it’s a team game. It’s not one player I’m going against. And I’m going back to (the Midwest).”

Munford said he and Hutchinson share a mutual respect despite the nasty rivalry between their collegiate fan bases, and he raved about Hutchinson as a person and his development on the field.

But it’s still a matchup he’s excited about.

Munford is reserved and doesn’t show those emotions off the field often, but he has proven himself to be a fiery and demonstrative player during games. It’s part of what has endeared him to the Raiders.

“He gets juiced on game day, and he brings it all game long,” left tackle Kolton Miller said. “And he just keeps coming to work every day and improving. Now he has more confidence that you can see on the field, too.”

It’s tough to miss Munford getting excited about a big block by himself or a teammate, or him motioning to keep it rolling after the team picks up a good chunk in the run game.

“I love players with good juice,” offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi said. “Thayer does a good job of that, of kind of just getting the offensive line going and bringing good juice and good energy.”

Injury report

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was upgraded to full participation Friday after he was limited by a back injury Thursday. It’s another good sign he is on track to return to the starting lineup Monday after missing the loss to the Bears.

Cornerback Marcus Peters also got in a limited session after a back injury kept him out of Thursday’s practice.

Cornerback Tyler Hall popped up on the injury report with a foot injury but practiced in full.

Kicker Daniel Carlson (groin) and linebacker Divine Deablo (ankle) missed their second consecutive practice.

Searching for solutions

There are several issues each week the Raiders can point to that need to be addressed.

With similar talent and a similar system, the offense isn’t executing on the same level as it was last season.

Wide receiver Davante Adams believes the time for discussion about the problems has passed.

“You’ve just got to do something about it,” he said. “You can sit there and cry and complain about this and that, but at the end of the day that doesn’t make you better as a team. You’ve just got to be solution-oriented and not complaining and crying about things.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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