|Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers catches a pass for a first down against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Myers suffered a concussion in the game. (US Presswire)|
Raiders starting tight end Brandon Myers suffered a concussion late in the fourth quarter Sunday against Pittsburgh, but coach Dennis Allen said it doesn't appear to be a “severe” injury.
“Brandon's been in here today and feels fine, no headaches,” Allen said Monday. “He still has to go through the protocol of passing all the tests.”
The Raiders can't afford to lose Myers, who has become one of Carson Palmer's favorite receivers. He has been targeted 15 times and caught all 15 passes for 206 yards.
Homecoming: One week after notching his first NFL win, Allen will return this week to Denver, where he served as defensive coordinator last season.
“It will be just like every other week,” Allen said. “It's going to be a division opponent. It's a big game, but we can't get into individualism. This is a team game. We got a challenge to face the Denver Broncos, and we're going to come up with a good plan, our players will execute and we're going to go try to win a game.”
Allen, however, acknowledged it will “be a different feel” when he's on the visitors sideline Sunday.
“But that's another one of those distractions that you can't let take over,” Allen said. “It's not about me, it's not about Dennis Allen vs. the Denver Broncos, it's about the Oakland Raiders vs. the Denver Broncos. We're going to need a lot more than just me out there to go win a game. So our focus is going to be on our team trying to exploit whatever weaknesses Denver has and eliminate the times that they're able to exploit whatever vulnerabilities we have.”
Swing for the fences: A few days before the Raiders faced Pittsburgh, Allen gave each of his players a wood baseball bat. The message?
“That was the theme, man, coach D.A. was telling us it's going to be one of those fights where we got to swing our bats for 60 minutes, and that's what we did,” linebacker Philip Wheeler said. “We had to bring the wood, and they gave us wooden bats. We brought the wood and we swung it for 60 minutes.”
Sebastian Janikowski won the game with a 43-yard home run, er, field goal as time ran out.
“Overall, I thought he graded out pretty well,” Allen said. “There's still some areas of improvement that he's got to make, but for a young guy to come in and play against a defense like that, I thought he played well.”
The Redskins signed Smith last year as an undrafted rookie, and he wound up starting the final three games at left tackle. The Raiders claimed him off waivers from Washington on Sept. 1, and he quickly passed Joe Barksdale on the depth chart as the No. 1 reserve tackle.
After further review: Longtime starting free safety Michael Huff made his first career start at cornerback Sunday, replacing the injured Ron Bartell on the left side. Huff hadn't started a game at corner since his sophomore season in college at Texas.
“I thought there were some things that he did well,” Allen said. “It's been awhile since he's been out there. There's a learning process out there. It's not like you just go out there and he looks like an All-American or an All-Pro player the first time. There's going to be a learning process. The great thing is that he was able to learn and we were able to get the win. I would expect the next time he goes out there that he would be a little bit better.”