Raiders’ Gareon Conley appears to dispute injury diagnosis on Twitter

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NAPA — Shin splints?

Maybe. But maybe not.

First-round draft pick Gareon Conley took to Twitter Thursday and appeared amused by a diagnosis of shin splints given by general manager Reggie McKenzie back on July 31.

That was the day a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury declined to press charges on a rape allegation made against Conley stemming from an encounter in a Cleveland hotel on April 9.

It was the only time McKenzie met with the media, and while expressing relief that Conley would not be prosecuted, he also said the cornerback wasn’t ready to practice.

“He’s got the shin splints, so it could be a few days,” McKenzie said. “I don’t know the particulars but once he starts running it shouldn’t take that long. We’re just going to give him some time to heal up and we’ll get him out there.”

Coach Jack Del Rio, as a matter of policy, has not been specific about Conley’s injury or why he hasn’t practiced.

Three observations from Raiders training camp:

News gets to Gareon Conley slowly: It’s been 11 days since McKenzie said Conley had shin splints, and apparently Thursday was the first he’d heard about it.

How else to explain the following Twitter sequence not long after the Raiders finished practice with Conley as a spectator?

From that exchange, it appears Conley doesn’t have shin splints. The last time Conley practiced was on June 13, the first day of a three-day mandatory minicamp. He sat out the final two practices and hasn’t seen the field during training camp.

Assuming it’s the same injury, that means he’s been out eight weeks and two days.

Conley has not only been unable to practice, but has yet to be seen working with athletic trainers on the side performing the kind of agility drills which normally indicate a return to the field is near.

Given there are only three practices left before camp breaks, it’s likely Conley won’t see the field at all in training camp and instead will be brought along in the more controlled and non-public environment of the team facility in Alameda.

Between now and whenever that happens, Conley will have had an interesting conversation with both McKenzie and Del Rio on club policy with regard to injuries as well as the use of social media.

A Raiders official said the club has no comment.

2. No word on playing time: Del Rio was giving no specifics on how much starters will play against Arizona, but it likely won’t be much — if at all.

Amari Cooper, who hasn’t practiced in more than a week with a knee injury, will be out. So will defensive end Khalil Mack, who missed the last three practices with an undisclosed injury.

If quarterback Derek Carr plays it all, it would probably be only a series and without a pass play.

“We haven’t really settled on what we’re going to do with the reps,” Del Rio said. “We don’t typically play the front line a great deal in the first game. So we’ll see when we get there.”

As for running back Marshawn Lynch, Del Rio said, “I know he’s a high-profile guy that people have questions about . . . I like the way he’s working. I’m not that concerned with seeing Marshawn Week 1 of the preseason, I’ll be honest with you on that.”

Hatcher stands out: Wide receiver Keon Hatcher had a big day, catching a crossing route for big yardage from Connor Cook and making a leaping grab of an EJ Manuel pass against tight coverage from Breon Borders for a touchdown during a red zone drill.

An undrafted free agent from Arkansas, Hatcher (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) had 44 catches for 743 yards as a senior.

Hatcher will need some in-game heroics to compete for the roster or practice squad.

Four receivers are locks — Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson. Those in the mix for a fifth and/or sixth spot include Johnny Holton, K.J. Brent and Jaydon Mickens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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