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Raiders bye week agenda: Get healthy, ‘Recharge’

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After nine weeks of the NFL season, it’s nice to get a break to heal up body and mind.

NFL: Oakland Raiders-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bye weeks often feel like they come at the perfect time. But having one in week nine feels just about perfect. Splitting the season almost perfectly in half, especially if you reach the playoffs. Making for a nice time to allow players to get healthy again for the stretch run.

“It’s a perfect time,” Derek Carr said Wednesday. “We got a win, we know what’s ahead of us, let’s recharge a little bit, let’s get fresh, get some guys healthy that are banged up. This is a great time to try and get healthy again. For everybody. Even if you’re not on the injury report, somebody’s dealing with something. And so you need to try and get back to full speed as best you can.”

Carr isn’t currently on the injury report, but he did break his back a little over a month ago. His initial diagnosis was 2-6 weeks which means he is likely still feeling some lingering pain. There probably isn’t a player on the team who isn’t feeling pain in a few places on their bodies.

“It’s a lot of rest,” said head coach Jack Del Rio. “A lot of it, the structure is established by the CBA now. There’s a four-day weekend that’s promised to them through the CBA. So, we’ll adhere to that and usually there’s a bit of a refreshing period and then get back next week.”

As of last week, the Raiders had three players out and six players who were questionable with injuries. They also have four players on injured reserve.

Among the players who didn’t play last Sunday with injury were starting cornerback David Amerson, starting fullback Jamize Olawale, and rookie top pick corner Gareon Conley.

Olawale appears most likely to be ready after the bye. He was limited in practice all last week with a groin injury and was questionable on the injury report before being inactive for the game.

Amerson seems next most likely. He was limited with a foot injury last Wednesday before missing the final two days of practice. He’s been dealing with several injury issues this season including two concussions, a shoulder injury, and now a foot injury.

Then there’s Conley, who this time next week will have his season fate decided. Either he will return soon or he will be placed on injured reserve. He has missed 7 of the first 9 games with a lingering shin injury he suffered last June.

The team got second round safety Obi Melifonwu back last week, coming off partial season IR. The other players eligible for a return this season are offensive lineman Denver Kirkland and kicker Sebastian Janikowski. Though either would most likely have to return to practice for a couple weeks before the team would look to activate them, if they return at all.

Thus far the team seems to be doing fine with their reserve offensive linemen as well as with Giorgio Tavecchio who is handling the kicking duties as well as Janikowski has in recent years. So, there’s really no rush for either of them.

The physical aspect of this is important, but so too is the mental aspect. The grind can take its toll on these players and their families. No one feels that more than the quarterback.

“Now we have a little mental break too,” Derek Carr added. “I think that’s the biggest thing for me. We joked about me having my Ipad and my playbook, and yeah, but it’s not to the same level. I have a process that I’ve done for the last three years, I’m gonna do it again next year in how I go about the bye week to get ahead, but at the same this is a time to recharge up here (head), have fun with your family, spend time with your kids and take your wife out to eat. That’s more important this week.”

I like Derek’s thinking here. Maybe I’ll try and catch up on a couple TV shows over the next week. Or see what the sun looks like.

Also see: Raiders bye week agenda: Self scouting