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Raiders hoping to get Donald Penn back off injured reserve this season

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, remember Donald Penn? The Raiders former left tackle started the first four games of the season at right tackle before being lost to a groin injury and was placed on injured reserve.

Since the IR designation happened in-season, he is eligible to return. Each team is allowed to return two players from IR during the season. Justin Ellis will return this week, leaving one more eligible return. Penn has been rehabbing and his eligibility comes up next week with four games left in the season. Jon Gruden says Penn’s rehab has been going well.

“He’s been downstairs rehabbing and we’re hoping he can come back and help us,” Gruden said Monday. “I don’t know how close he is officially, but he is making progress. I hope to have him on the field before the season is over.”

Since Penn was lost, the Raiders have started rookies at both tackle spots. Third round pick Brandon Parker stepped in at right tackle, and Kolton Miller has had to play with a bum knee most of the season due to no other options at the position. Miller, Penn, and Kelechi Osemele all suffered their injuries in the same week four game against the Browns.

The other notable player who is eligible to return this season from IR is Marshawn Lynch, who was also lost to a groin injury week six. He would be eligible to play the final two weeks of the season, but if the team activates Ellis and Penn instead, Lynch would no longer be eligible.