ALAMEDA – Raiders right tackle Austin Howard has battled an ankle injury since the preseason’s end. He gritted out a Week 2 game against at Atlanta without other options available, and then went back on the shelf two more games.
He returned to work for Wednesday’s practice, a solid sign for Oakland after three right tackles missed Sunday’s victory over Baltimore. Matt McCants was back for a second week of practice as he returns to action slowly.
There were a number of other players missing work for that padded practice. The list includes running back Latavius Murray, who was seen in a walking boot the past few days. He has missed time with a toe injury.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith missed practice – his injury was announced as a groin strain during the Ravens win, but has been changed to a quadriceps injury -- and it’s uncertain how much time he’ll miss at a key position. The Raiders placed Ben Heeney (ankle) on injured reserve on Tuesday and replaced by veteran Perry Riley.
Tight end Clive Walford watched practice from the sideline, though he’s expected to be ready for game day.
Safety Nate Allen (quadriceps) hasn’t returned to work after missing two games. Right tackle Menelik Watson also remains out.
The Chargers suffered another significant blow, as Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett (knee) announced that a partially torn ACL would end his 2016 season. Brandon Flowers, San Diego’s No. 2 cornerback, missed work with a concussion.
San Diego first-round pick Joey Bosa (hamstring), who hasn’t played yet this season, was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.
Chargers participation report
Did not practice: S Jahleel Addae (collarbone), LB Nick Dzubnar (knee), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion), CB Jason Verrett (knee)
Limited practice: OT Joe Barksdale (foot), OT King Dunlap (illness), OL Orlando Franklin (knee), TE Antonio Gates (hamstring), OT Chris Hairston (groin), LB Joshua Perry (knee), LB Denzel Perryman (shoulder)
Full participation: DL Joey Bosa (hamstring)
Raiders participation report
Did not practice: S Nate Allen (quad), Latavius Murray (toe), LB Malcolm Smith (quad), TE Clive Walford (knee), OT Menelik Watson (calf)
Limited participation: OT Austin Howard (ankle), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), OT Matt McCants (knee)