Wide receiver Denarius Moore cleared another hurdle Thursday in his recovery from a right hamstring injury, practicing for the first time since Aug. 4.
Now the question is whether Moore will be cleared by coach Dennis Allen to play Monday night when the Raiders open the season against San Diego.
“It was very encouraging,” Allen said. “He moved around pretty well today. We're going to keep taking a look at him and keep evaluating him. The good news is we don't have to make any type of decision until game day.”
Moore initially injured his hamstring during a minicamp in June. Shortly after training camp opened, he re-injured his hamstring and missed all four preseason games, as well as practice for more than a month.
“It felt really good to be back out there with my teammates and get my timing down with the quarterback, just getting a feel for things,” Moore said. “I've been out for so long you somewhat forget the fundamentals, just getting back to that.”
Moore said he's still “easing” his way back into action. He limited himself to short and intermediate routes Thursday as he tried to regain “full confidence” in his right hamstring.
Getting Moore back for Monday night's game is crucial for the Raiders. In two games against San Diego last year, he caught 8 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He quickly became quarterback Carson Palmer's favorite target after Palmer came to the Raiders from Cincinnati in a trade on Oct. 18.
Palmer said it was “huge” to have Moore back on the practice field.
“Just to see him in a helmet, in shoulder pads, it's been so long,” Palmer said. “I know he's worked hard at it. I know it's been a frustrating camp for him because he's a football player, and that's what he wants to be doing. It's good to see him out there getting reps, getting his legs back underneath him. He's going to need that.
“You lose football shape really fast, and it's hard to get it back. So it's good to see him getting some work today and hopefully he'll continue to improve as the week goes on.”
Moore said he's never had a serious hamstring injury until this year and that he struggled at times having to miss so much work.
“It was real frustrating seeing your teammates out there going through it day-by-day and then you're just sitting on the sideline doing nothing,” Moore said.
On Thursday, for the first time in 33 days, Moore was more than just an observer at practice.
“It was good seeing him back out there,” Raiders running back Darren McFadden said. “He looked great. He's a ballplayer. They go out there and play ball, and that's what he did. He went out there and made plays in practice.”
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLOAK.