On the same day the Raiders got the good news that top pick Gareon Conley came off PUP and returned to practice, they were without second round pick Obi Melifonwu.
His absence was not noted by myself or other media in attendance during practice itself -- perhaps because we were all looking for Gareon Conley or perhaps Melifonwu was there early on and left after (?) — but Raiders officials told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle afterward that Melifonwu had not practiced.
Obi Melifonwu didn’t practice. Not a good sign after playing 20-some plays Saturday. His ankle again? Del Rio unavailable for comment— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 29, 2017
The rookie safety had missed most of camp with an ankle injury, but finally returned to practice full as of last week and saw his Raiders debut in the third preseason game last Saturday.
At no time was it apparent he had suffered an injury in that game, but come practice Tuesday, he was not on the field with his teammates, leading to the conclusion that he may not play in the team’s preseason finale on Thursday.
It also raises concern his ankle may not have responded well and perhaps even a re-injury situation. This is speculation, of course.
Two players did leave the game Saturday — fullback Jamize Olawale and David Amerson.
Olawale pulled up after a long run without contact. Missing practice today could rule out the possibility it was just cramps, which raises other concerns. He is currently the only fullback on the roster.
Amerson suffered a concussion in the game and is going through the concussion protocol. He participated in stretches, but not drills, which means he is in stage one of the protocol.
Neither Cory James nor Seth Roberts made the trip to Dallas for the game. Roberts returned to practice today, but James remained out.
Ben Heeney was also not practicing. He remains on the Non-Football Injury. Keith McGill is still not back from his foot injury.
I would be surprised if any of the players missing from today’s practice play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Seahawks.
The next time the Raiders take the field for practice will be a week from today. That day will be the first in which they must turn in an official injury report which will help clarify the issues each player faces. Some players may also land on injured reserve prior to that day which will also clear things up.