September 06, 2015

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes practiced Sunday for the first time since breaking his hand three weeks ago.

The team's top deep threat the past two years while averaging 15.6 yards a catch, Holmes showed no lingering effects from the injury while catching passes from quarterbacks Derek Carr and Matt McGloin during the workout.

Holmes also ran well, which was a concern after not practicing since Aug. 16.

''It felt good being back out there and just catching the ball, running routes and just getting back to how I was during training camp,'' Holmes said. ''Everything went well. Now it's just moving forward.''

That might be trickier to do in Oakland than it was previously.

Holmes, who was third on the team with 47 catches in 2014, joins an already crowded receiving group anchored by first-round draft pick Amari Cooper and veterans Michael Crabtree and Rod Streater.

Cooper, the fourth overall pick in the draft, and Crabtree are the unquestioned starters while Streater - who missed much of last season with a broken foot - is expected to compete with Holmes for third on the depth chart. Brice Butler and undrafted free agent Seth Roberts round out the group.

''Every one of us can go out there and make plays, every one of us can be a game-changer,'' Holmes said. ''Definitely it's been a huge upgrade here.''

Holmes said he ran pass patterns and kept up his conditioning while out, but acknowledged it might take some time to get back in rhythm with the rest of the offense.

''There might be a little bit of timing (issues) and running the routes the way I was before,'' Holmes said. ''I felt that a little bit, just being a little bit off but nothing major.''

Rookie tight end Clive Walford, who is expected to play a significant role in Oakland's offense, also returned to the field after a prolonged absence, giving coach Jack Del Rio a mostly healthy roster heading into the season opener.

Walford, a third-round draft pick, missed almost all of training camp reportedly because of a hamstring injury. He practiced two days before aggravating the injury. The Raiders shut him down after that with the hope of getting the rookie ready for the season opener.

''It was a long process but it felt really good to be back out there with my teammates,'' Walford said. ''It was a little frustrating because I wanted to come back earlier before the preseason actually ended but I had to sit out.''

How much Holmes and Walford will play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 13 is uncertain. Del Rio wouldn't discuss either player's status and said a decision will be made later in the week.

''I guess I could speak to it, but I'm really not going to get in depth to where guys are,'' Del Rio said. ''I think on Wednesday we have to declare that and on Wednesday we will.''

The Raiders also added depth to their secondary by claiming safety Keenan Lambert off waivers from Seattle. To clear room on the roster, Oakland waived cornerback SaQwan Edwards.

Notes: Defensive end Benson Mayowa did not practice. ... Del Rio was asked what was behind the decision to trade linebacker Sio Moore to the Indianapolis Colts after Moore started 26 games the past two seasons. ''He wasn't going to make our team,'' Del Rio said. ''It was an opportunity to acquire a pick for a guy that somebody else may want to have.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

You May Like