ALAMEDA – Lamarcus Joyner hasn't played a game or practiced much since pulling up lame late in a Week 10 victory over the LA Chargers.
They have dearly missed their slot cornerback and defensive co-captain, a point made clear watching the New York Jets take chunk yards on slants and crosses across the middle of the field. No Joyner and no Karl Joseph really hurt the Raiders in New York.
While Joseph is done for the year, Joyner is on the mend and is coming ever closer to a return.
He was a limited participant in a Wednesday walk-through practice conducted off-site to avoid inclement weather and saturated Raiders practice fields.
He has been limited before, but the Raiders are cautiously optimistic he'll be ready to go Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We hope to have him back," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. "He took some turns today and got the game plan. He's been out for a couple weeks now, which has really been a big deal for us. You know when you lose two safeties, your nickel, and your linebackers, it's been tough, but we do think he has a real good chance to play."
Nevin Lawson struggled mightily against the Jets in Joyner's place, and the Raiders need to be better inside against a talented Chiefs receiver corps.
Center Rodney Hudson was listed as a non-participant on the Raiders' practice report Wednesday, which was technically an estimation after only doing a walk-through. There's no real concern over Hudson's health, considering the team waived third center Erik Magnuson later than afternoon. They wouldn't go into a game without that emergency option if Hudson was in real jeopardy.
Receiver Hunter Renfrow has been ruled out of Sunday's game with rib and lung injuries, and Gruden said the team will be cautious with Renfrow moving forward even if that means he doesn't return in 2019.
"We're not going to mess around with the rib, lung area," Gruden said. "But right now, he won't play against the Chiefs. I know he wants to play. He feels good, but until we get the green light from the training staff, he won't play."
Why Raiders moved practice off-site
The Raiders chose to practice at an indoor facility in Alameda over their rain-drenched practice fields, which don't always drain well after heavy rains. Gruden said there were several reasons why it seemed smart to move the Wednesday session, which has been lighter and more mentally focused as the season has progressed.
"The fields obviously had something to do with it," Gruden said. "The trainer had something to do with it. We needed an extra day for some guys and we have to make some adjustments on our roster obviously. So, we took advantage of a great facility and we got a lot of reps, a lot of teaching done, and we'll be back at it out here [Thursday]."
Raiders practice report
Did not practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (knee)
NOTE: The Raiders conducted a walk-through practice on Wednesday. Therefore, the participation report is an estimation.