ALAMEDA – Lamarcus Joyner can play several positions, but has focused solely on the Raiders' slot cornerback spot. He has been the only guy to occupy it in the nickel package. He's integral to the Raiders defense when more than two receivers enter the game, and has remained on the field even in some base package situations considering his solid run play.
But they'll have to carry on without him, at least in the short term, due to a hamstring injury suffered in last week's win over the LA Chargers. Joyner stood no chance of playing this week.
He didn't practice at all and was formally ruled out of Sunday's game against Cincinnati on the team's official injury report.
That leaves a void in the defense filled by veteran Nevin Lawson, who has 67 games and 54 starts to his credit and some experience in the slot. Daryl Worley will get pulled inside if that option doesn't play out well.
The Raiders have some concern at offensive tackle with starter Trent Brown (knee) questionable and his backup David Sharpe (calf) out of this game. That means Brandon Parker will be active for the first time in a while. The 2018 third-round pick has been the fourth tackle lately, largely inactive on game day due to inconsistent pass protection especially.
The Raiders are 10.5-point favorites against the winless Bengals, a talent-deficient team with some injury troubles. Receiver A.J. Green remains out with an ankle injury. Former starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick also is unavailable – he wasn't going to play Sunday but has now been placed on injured reserve -- and starting interior defensive lineman Geno Atkins is questionable with ankle and knee issues that developed during the practice week. Nevertheless, the Bengals expect him to be out there.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden said he expects newcomers D.J. Swearinger and Dion Jordan to play Sunday. Jordan should play defensive end and could push inside at points during the game. The Raiders have to see if he's in game shape, so it's unknown how much Jordan will be on the field in his first Raiders appearance and his first game back from a 10-game suspension for Adderall.
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)
OT Trent Brown (knee)
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)
WR A.J. Green (ankle)
CB Cre Kirkpatrick (knee)
TE Drew Sample (ankle)
G Alex Redmond (knee/ankle)
OT Bobby Hart (shoulder)
DT Geno Atkins (ankle/knee)