Ron Bartell cleared to practice, expects to play in preseason opener

Oakland Raiders cornerback Ron Bartell at 2012 minicamp (photo by Levi Damien)

Raider new cornerback Ron Bartell is expected to be the number one corner on this team. But through the first week of practices, he has been out with a hamstring injury. Today the Raiders reported that he has passed his physical and will resume practicing.

As part of the new CBA, when player is placed on the non-football injury list, once he is cleared to practice, he must wait three days before being able to practice fully.

"From my understanding I can do individual drills." Said Bartell. "I'll be able to wear shoulder pads, shells and shorts. I can't get in full contact. I guess I'll go through the drills, the walkthrough aspect of it, then in the live periods they'll probably hold me out. It's only a couple of days. I'm just excited just to be able to be back and feel healthy again."

Though Bartell has missed an entire week of camp, he is confident he can pick up right where he left off.

"I know the defense. I'm comfortable with it. I paid pretty good attention in the meeting room, the film room and at practice. The only thing that I may behind on is my technique and timing of things. But it is camp so I still have time to get caught up on that aspect of it."

And though he will have missed most of the camp preparation for the opening preseason game versus the Cowboys, he still thinks he will be playing.

"I'm going in with the mindset that I'll be playing until I hear otherwise. That's my mindset. Barring a setback, I don't think it will be a question if I'm playing or not. I'm in pretty good shape. They did a great job of conditioning me while I was out. So the only thing I'm kind of leery about is my timing and technique because I haven't been going against guys live in a while. But I can clean those things up within the next few weeks before the regular season starts."

We won't be able to see who the first team will be until Bartell returns to full contact on Wednesday.

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