Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour may be able to play this Sunday. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour likely will be back on the field for the Raiders this Sunday after missing five games with an injury.
But the game against the Chiefs at O.co Coliseum, and the two after that to close out the season – against the Panthers and Chargers – likely will be the last time the former Pro Bowler will be seen wearing No. 92 in a silver and black uniform.
Seymour, 33, will be a free agent when this season ends, and it’s unlikely the Raiders will bring him back as General Manager Reggie McKenzie remakes the roster with younger, more cost-efficient talent.
Seymour, who has practiced this week after missing five games with a hamstring tear suffered in a game against the Bucs in early November, will likely play for the 3-10 Raiders against the 2-11 Chiefs Sunday.
Head coach Dennis Allen told reporters this week: “I thought he looked well and, yeah, I think there’s a good chance he’s going to play this week.”
Seymour told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that, “I would love to retire a Raider, but I have earned the right to be a free agent.”
“I really love wearing this uniform,” he added. “We’ll see what happens.”
It’s expected that this offseason may be as full of change as last year’s in terms of roster turnover. Since McKenzie came on board in January, more than half the players on the roster have been released or sent elsewhere. Most Raiders observers expect Seymour to go elsewhere next season.
Seymour says he understands.
“Everybody is being evaluated from the top to the bottom,” he told Tafur.
A seven-time Pro Bowl player, Seymour has been with the Raiders since 2009, when team owner Al Davis acquired him from the Patriots for a first-round draft choice.
This season, Seymour has played eight games and has just 12 tackles and three sacks.
The Raiders defense has been ineffective all season, but Seymour would at least give Oakland a better chance to handle the Chiefs' running game Sunday.
Kansas City has been anemic offensively, but the Chiefs do have one of the best running backs in the league in Jamaal Charles. Charles ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,220 yards and four touchdowns, and averages a healthy 5.1 yards per carry. The Raiders rank just 26th in the league in rushing defense.
Allen, for one, expects the Chiefs to try to run on the Raiders.
“He’s rushed for 100 yards, I think it’s four of the last five games,” Allen said of Charles. “He’s an explosive player on their offense, a guy that can go make plays for them. I would anticipate they would try to get him the ball.”
If healthy, Seymour could give the Oakland defense a bit of a boost in that regard.
But with this season winding down, so it appears is Seymour’s Raiders career.