NAPA -- A spectator, self-appointed assistant coach and cheerleader for nine practices, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey got into the mix Monday and fared well enough that he could see action in the preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
Heyward-Bey, out with an undisclosed injury, participated in his first full team sessions after doing little more than running a few routes uncontested by defenders in earlier practices.
On five passes thrown in his direction, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft caught four and had one drop, although a reception from Jason Campbell on a crossing route was punched loose from behind by cornerback Chris Johnson.
"I wish C.J. didn't knock that ball out, but I felt pretty good for the most part," Heyward-Bey said. "I connected with Jason and it felt good."
Coach Hue Jackson was encouraged by Heyward-Bey's training camp debut.
"He looked like a guy that's getting ready," Jackson said. "He did some good things, caught some balls, is getting back in the swing of it. It's a good time to have him back out there. Another pair of veteran legs."
Depending on how Heyward-Bey bounces back Tuesday, Jackson hoped to have him available to play Thursday night at O.co Coliseum against Arizona.
"I feel pretty good," Heyward-Bey said. "I've been doing everything I have to like everybody else, in the cold tub, taking care of our bodies. Tomorrow will be a big test, so
Exactly what is being tested is still unclear. With only a few exceptions, the Raiders haven't disclosed injury specifics. Heyward-Bey said it wasn't a hamstring pull. He joked earlier in camp that he had a toothache.
Jackson said he didn't plan on holding out any healthy players and hadn't determined how long the first team would play.
"It's the only time in history I will ever have on these shoes," Jackson said. "After this, they're done."