Clive Walford absent from Sunday practice, Smith returns
Aug/18/15 08:47 AM Filed in: Clive Walford
The Oakland Raiders had one of their new tight ends return to the practice field on Sunday and had another miss practice after his NFL debut as the team saw two players interchange injury status on a day where Rod Streater’s first practice appearance of camp stole the majority of the headlines in Napa.
Behind the attention of Streater’s return was the return of run blocking specialist Lee Smith, who signed with the team in free agency and missed Friday’s preseason home opener against the St. Louis Rams. Failing to get his first appearance while rookies Gabe Holmes and Clive Walford stole the show at tight end during the 18-3 win while 2014 starter Mychal Rivera received zero targets.
While Smith missed the preseason opener and Walford played in his first preseason game as a rookie, the third round pick was absent for Sunday’s non-padded practice. Walford missing practice after just returning last week from a hamstring injury in time to get on the field for Friday’s game against the Rams.
According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t confirm if Walford aggravated the hamstring injury that had him on the sidelines. Opting not to divulge on what had Walford away from the practice field after playing on Friday.
Luckily for the Raiders this August they have plenty of depth at tight end for practice snaps to be taken by other players as Smith, Holmes and Rivera all are eager to get as many opportunities to impress the coaching staff as possible. Walford hopefully has just a minor injury keeping him out for precautionary reasons, but after missing time for a hamstring injury the health of the rookie could be questioned as he has had struggles staying on the field throughout the Napa camp.