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Tyvon Branch downgraded to OUT vs Jets, Raiders lack depth at safety

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Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Just after Tyvon Branch appeared on the Raiders' injury report as questionable, the word came down that he was downgraded to out for Sunday's game in New York. Branch had returned to practice this week for the first time since he injured his ankle in week 2 and was limited all three days this week.

It was a bit of a stretch to think Branch could go this week due to how long he has been on the shelf but at least having him as an option would have been a good thing.

As it stands, the Raiders are very thin at the safety position because Usama Young will also not play in the game. This leaves the team with just Brandian Ross and Charles Woodson to start at the position.

If one of the starters gets injured or needs to be spelled in the game, the Raiders would be forced to move a cornerback to play safety. The most likely candidate for that job would be Chimdi Chekwa mainly for lack of other options. With D.J. Hayden on IR, and Taiwan Jones filling in a running back this week, the team will have four corners on the roster.

The top three corners are Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and nickel corner, Phillip Adams. They will be spending a lot of the time on the field already. So, the Raiders could conceivably empty their bench into the secondary at some point.