The plan was for Jared Veldheer to alternate snaps at left offensive tackle against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
But when Veldheer played at a high level and wasn’t fatigued as the game wore on, the Raiders coaching staff let the veteran stay put. In his first game this season after tearing his triceps in training camp, Veldheer played every snap.
“He held up good,” head coach Dennis Allen said at his news conference the day after the game. “I saw him (Friday) morning, and he said he was feeling good, so he got out of that clean.”
With Veldheer back at left tackle, the Raiders moved Khalif Barnes – who’d been manning that position -- to left guard. With four games left in the season, the coaching staff will get a chance to see how the reshuffled line plays together, and whether it might be a combination that works in 2014. The Veldheer-Barnes tandem is likely to start Sunday when the Raiders (4-8) take on the host New York Jets (5-7).
The debut of Barnes at guard had some ups and downs, said Allen.
“I thought early he wasn’t quite as comfortable in there as maybe what we would have hoped,but I thought as the game went, I thought he got better and better in there,” Allen said at his news conference. “I think some of the things from a run-blocking standpoint where he can really improve on the inside there. But I thought his pass protection inside was actually pretty good.”
Pass protection, in fact, was a Raiders strong point in the loss to the Cowboys. Quarterback Matt McGloin wasn’t sacked even once.
Veldheer, meanwhile, said the day after the game that he was happy and encouraged by his first game back.
“I felt great,” he told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I wanted to help us, and I was able to maintain my stamina and I felt good conditioning-wise. My arm held up great. That’s all in the past now.”