ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders will likely be without center Rodney Hudson for a second consecutive game due to a lingering right ankle sprain.
One day after being limited, Hudson was downgraded and held out of practice Friday. Instead, he worked out with a team trainer on an adjacent field.
If Hudson is held out, he will miss the opportunity to play against the team that drafted him when the Raiders host Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs drafted Hudson with the 55th overall pick in 2011 before he signed with Oakland as a free agent this past offseason.
Tony Bergstrom is expected to start against the Chiefs if Hudson is unable to play. The former third-round draft pick has spent most of his career at guard and has also played tackle.
Bergstrom started in Week 10 against Minnesota and in the Raiders’ win over Tennessee last week. He has drawn praise from the coaching staff for his play in Hudson’s absence but Hudson is Oakland’s highest-paid offensive lineman and the anchor of the offensive line.
The Raiders struggled to run the ball in the two games Hudson did not play. There were also problems with the center exchange between Bergstrom and quarterback Derek Carr in the win over the Titans. Carr fumbled twice, losing one that led to Tennessee’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“I think for the most part Tony’s done a pretty good job of filling in,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Rodney is a Pro Bowl-level player in my opinion. So when you’re missing him, yeah, you’re missing one of your better players. But we feel like we have a good group.”
Hudson started the first eight games of the season before hurting his ankle midway through the fourth quarter of the Raiders’ 38-35 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 8. He did not play the following week against Minnesota but returned to start against Detroit before being forced out of the game after aggravating the injury.
While he might not play this week, Hudson’s injury doesn’t appear to be serious. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder is out of the walking boot he’s been forced to wear periodically this season and walked through the Raiders locker room Friday without a noticeable limp.
Oakland’s coaches, though, are taking a cautious approach with Hudson’s rehab and will continue to lean on Bergstrom in the interim.
Notes: WR Amari Cooper was named rookie of the week. It’s the third time this season that Cooper has been honored. . RB/KR Taiwan Jones (knee) did not practice after being limited on Thursday. He is doubtful. . Safety Charles Woodson (shoulder) is probable, CB Neiko Thorpe (knee) is questionable while LB Neiron Ball (knee) and CB Keith McGill (ankle) are out.