ALAMEDA – Austin Howard hoped to participate in latter parts of this Raiders offseason program. A few OTA sessions and the team's three-day minicamp would've given the talented right tackle some positive momentum heading into training camp, but that will have to wait.
Howard's shoulder isn't quite ready. He had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum and ailing joint that plagued him most of the 2016 campaign, and wasn't cleared to practice by doctors following an exam early last week. Torn labrums take time to completely heal.
Howard's goal is to return in time for the start of training camp, but that isn't guaranteed. He'll continue stretching with the team and rehabbing during the rest of minicamp, as he has during OTAs. Rehab work will continue through a quiet period as he works to return as soon as possible.
He'll need to be formally cleared later this summer before jumping back into an open competition at right tackle.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said Marshall Newhouse has a leg up at that spot, but he has been absent over the last week. Vadal Alexander and rookie David Sharpe have taken significant practice snaps at that spot. Howard started 23 games at right tackle in his last two seasons in Silver and Black, with 16 starts at right guard the year before.