Two Raider players may miss game tonight
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) ” The Oakland Raiders will be without starting center Jake Grove for Thursday’s game at San Diego and may also be missing wide receiver Ashley Lelie.
Grove, who has not played since injuring a calf muscle during a 17-6 loss to Carolina on Nov. 9, has been working out on his own in practice but has not healed enough to play. Having a short week ” the Raiders are playing only four days after losing to Kansas City last Sunday ” also convinced interim head coach Tom Cable to keep his center sidelined one more week.
“I think if we were playing Sunday, I’d probably be ready to go,” Grove said Wednesday. “But it’s just too quick of a turnaround…I just have to deal with this right now and try to come back strong for those last three games.”
Veteran center John Wade, who signed with the Raiders in the offseason after four years as a starter in Tampa Bay, will play in Grove’s place.
Cable said Wade struggled in his first game replacing Grove but has settled in lately.
“He is improving,” Cable said. “Certainly he’s got a tremendous matchup this week with Jamal Williams, so we need him to play his best. That first game we played them, (Grove) played really, really well against Jamal. So obviously we’ll miss him, but it’s good for John.”
Lelie was held out of practice Wednesday for a second straight day because of a headache. Cable was unsure if it was a migraine but listed the veteran receiver as questionable on the Raiders injury report.
“It’s much-improved, but there’s still some lingering of it. So he’s not going to do anything until (the pain is gone),” Cable said. “(Trainers) are working on it.”
Lelie leads the Raiders with two touchdown receptions but has caught only 11 passes all season. He has started six games but has been unable to provide much of a spark for Oakland’s 32nd-ranked passing attack.
If Lelie can’t play against the Chargers, the Raiders would likely start Ronald Curry and rookie Chaz Schilens. Schilens played at San Diego State before being drafted in the seventh round this year by Oakland.
The Raiders will also be without strongside linebacker Ricky Brown for a sixth straight game.