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Raiders 2nd round rookie Obi Melifonwu expected to return to practice next week

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The earliest a player placed on injured reserve may return to practice is after week six. Raiders rookie safety Obi Melifonwu is on schedule to do just that.

A second round pick in April’s draft, Melifonwu injured his ankle in training camp not to return. Following the announcement of the regular season roster, he was placed on injured reserve, making him eligible to return after week eight, which means if he’s healthy he may return to practice two weeks prior. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said Friday he expects Melifonwu to be ready.

“Well, I think there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll be able to get Obi [Melifonwu] up and then we’ll have to make a decision on the others,” said Del Rio. “I know he’s eligible to return to practice next week. Then will be eligible to play after the Buffalo game, so the Miami game. He’s doing well working, trying to get back.”

Others placed on injured reserve who are eligible to return to practice next week include kicker Sebastian Janikowski and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland.