ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders' thin receiving corps got a boost Thursday when Denarius Moore returned to practice from an injury and the team signed Derek Hagan.
Moore practiced on a limited basis for the first time since Aug. 4 as he has been dealing with a hamstring injury first sustained during minicamp in June.
"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," he said. "I've been out for so long you somewhat forget the fundamentals."
Moore's return was welcome news to a Raiders offense that struggled at times during the preseason. He had a stellar rookie season, catching 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns. His 18.7 yards per catch were the fourth-highest in the league and his eight catches on passes more than 20 yards downfield gave Oakland a much-needed vertical threat that opened up opposing defenses.
Moore has been unable to work much with quarterback Carson Palmer this offseason. He was on the field for OTAs but got hurt early in minicamp. He had four full practices in training camp before being hurt again and had not made it back on the field with the team until Thursday.
"I know it's been a frustrating training camp for him because he's a football player and that's what he wants to be doing," Palmer said. "It's good to see him out there getting reps, getting his legs back out there 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."
With Moore working back from his injury and Jacoby Ford still sidelined by a sprained left foot, the Raiders needed help at receiver for the opener against San Diego next Monday.
That's why they brought Hagan back for a second stint with the team, adding a veteran presence to a young group. Hagan had 11 catches for 114 yards in six games for Oakland last season. He was cut midway through the season and spent the rest of 2011 and this year's training camp with Buffalo before being cut last week.
Hagan spent two weeks in Oakland last season with Palmer before being released, giving the two some familiarity. Most everything else about the offense is different under new coordinator Greg Knapp.
"I definitely expect myself to learn the whole playbook," Hagan said. "Obviously this is what I do, this is my job, this is my profession. If I got to learn it in three days that's fine with me. It's definitely going to be a cram session. There may be a few things that I may not memorize at the right time but I know I just gotta put that time in, and hopefully come Monday night I'll just be able to do what I'm supposed to do and be where I'm supposed to be."
Hagan's 109 career catches are more than any other current Raiders receiver has. He has played parts of six seasons in the NFL, also spending time with the New York Giants and Miami.
The injuries at receiver gave undrafted rookie Rod Streater a chance to shine in the preseason and he delivered with 18 catches for 165 yards. That production was even more noteworthy considering Streater had just 19 catches during his senior season at Temple, which led to him not being picked in the NFL draft.
Now he is being counted on to be a key contributor to the Oakland offense as a rookie.
"It's pretty amazing from going undrafted to getting here," he said. "But, in the end, I still have to produce, continue to do my job, and continue to compete at a high level. I don't want it to get to me and take my performance down."
NOTES: The Raiders waived DB Coye Francies to make room for Hagan on the roster. ... K Sebastian Janikowski was back with the team after being excused Tuesday for the birth of his twin daughters. ... Palmer, RB Darren McFadden, DT Richard Seymour, DT Tommy Kelly, and P Shane Lechler were elected team captains. ... C Stefen Wisniewski was a full participant in practice for the first time since injuring his calf Aug. 13. "It was good for him to get out here and get some work in," coach Dennis Allen said.