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Raiders to lean on depth in Miami heat

The SportsXchange

The Raiders will rotate players on a deep defensive line as a way to deal with the tropical conditions in Miami with game time temperatures forecasted to be 87 and humid.

When the Raiders took the field for practice Thursday, it was a breezy day with temperatures inching into the 60s.

In a season-opening 22-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers, the starting front four got most of the work. Defensive ends Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston logged 48 and 46 snaps, respectively, while tackles Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour had 46 and 42.

That was more than expected for Seymour in particular, given the amount of practice time he's missed in recent weeks with sore knees.

Two players considered valuable rotational reserves, defensive end Dave Tollefson and Desmond Bryant, had 24 and 16 snaps, respectively.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen sounds as if he'll look to even out the work load given the forecast, which calls for temperatures in the mid-80s, humidity in the 70 percent range and even a chance of thunderstorms.

"Obviously when you really take into account the Miami heat, we're going to have to do a good job with our rotation and keeping those guys fresh and keeping them where they'll be at their best in the fourth quarter," Allen said.

Raiders players, especially those who are from southern states, are taking it in stride.

"Man, I'm from Jackson, Mississippi," Kelly said. "I'll be all right."

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, from Decatur, Ala., wasn't overly concerned, either.

"It's just hot. It's not like you died or anything," McClain said. "It's just a little sun. Drink some water, you'll be fine."

-- RB Taiwan Jones was limited with sore ribs after missing practice Wednesday and should be available to face Miami.

-- LB Rolando McClain was limited with an ankle injury after missing practice Wednesday and should be available to face Miami. Travis Goethel practiced with the first team.

-- WR Denarius Moore is likely to return against Miami, giving some relief to starters Rod Streater and Darrius Heyward-Bey, who were winded after playing 70 and 68 snaps, respectively.

-- CB Pat Lee, who played 36 snaps against San Diego, draws the start opposite Shawntae Spencer because of broken scapula suffered by Ron Bartell.

-- C Nick Guess will be activated and long-snap against Miami if starter Jon Condo is not cleared by doctors following a concussion.

-- WR Jacoby Ford (Lisfranc surgery) will likely be put on injured reserve and be out for the season, according to Allen.

-- C Stefen Wisniewski practiced with the first team and appears to be the likely starter against Miami.

-- LB Miles Burris had three more tackles added to his game total of nine after review of the film by the Raiders staff, giving him 12 in his debut.

-- CB Joselio Hanson did not play on defense in the opener, getting some snaps on special teams, even after starting cornerback Ron Bartell left with a broken shoulder blade.

-- QB Carson Palmer broke 3,000 yards passing as a Raider with his 297 yards against San Diego. He has 3,050 yards in 11 games with Oakland.
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