September 12, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen remains hopeful that running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be able to play in Sunday's home opener against the Houston Texans.

Nick Roach's status isn't as encouraging, meaning the Raiders likely will be without their starting middle linebacker for a second straight week.

Jones-Drew has not practiced this week and remains listed as questionable on the team's injury report. The veteran running back has been bothered by a right hand injury he aggravated in last week's loss to the New York Jets.

The Raiders managed just 25 yards on the ground against the Jets and need all the help they can get against a tough Texans run defense. That's why Allen said the team will wait until Sunday before deciding whether Jones-Drew can play or not.

''When you have a veteran player like that who has played a lot of football, if he is ready to go, we're going to have him up and active and playing,'' Allen said Friday. ''Really it's kind of wait and see. We'll see how he's going. We have a plan either way.''

Darren McFadden will likely get the bulk of work in Oakland's backfield if Jones-Drew can't go.

The fourth overall pick in 2008, McFadden led the Raiders with 15 yards on four carries in the loss to the Jets. Jones-Drew carried nine times for 11 yards while fullback Marcel Reece ran once for no gain.

With little help from the running game, the Raiders were forced to rely heavily on rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Carr, Oakland's second-round draft pick, passed for two touchdowns and had a 94.7 rating.

The Raiders hope to be more balanced against the Texans, while Carr expects to be more relaxed.

''The biggest difference I guess now after playing a game, just for me, I know how to prepare,'' Carr said. ''This is only my second game starting ... but being able to play and now I have my plan set, how I like to do things, it's so helpful and beneficial to me.''

Defensively, Oakland could be without Roach again.

The veteran middle linebacker was limited in practice Friday, but has not been cleared for contact after suffering a concussion that kept him out against the Jets.

''He's going through the protocol and right now he's questionable,'' Allen said.

Miles Burris continued to practice in place of Roach. Burris tied for the team high in tackles with 12 against the Jets.

NOTES: The Raiders are expected to put cornerback Taiwan Jones on injured reserve before Sunday's game. Jones has been sidelined with a foot injury. Allen said the team will promote rookie linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu from the practice squad. ... OT Matt McCants (knee) did not practice and is questionable.


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