The reality of an impending season arrived Tuesday as the Raiders began closed practices at their facility and trimmed nine players from the roster to reach the NFL mandate of 80.
There were no surprises in the transactions, with the more difficult cuts coming when owner Al Davis and coach Hue Jackson determine a 53-man roster Saturday, the day after the Raiders visit the Seattle Seahawks.
"There are cuts to be made, everything is heightened," Jackson said. "I'm sure the guys feel the anxiety of, 'What's going to happen with me? Am I going to be here or not be here?'
"Everybody has a sense of purpose and urgency once you get back to Alameda."
Fullback Bryson Kelly, offensive lineman Ben Lamaak, wide receivers Damola Adeniji and Steve Goulet, safety Josh Bullocks and defensive tackle Derrick Hill were waived.
Offensive lineman Alan Pelc and linebacker Travis Goethel were placed on injured reserve, and offensive lineman Lou Eliades was waived injured, meaning he could join Pelc and Goethel on I.R. once he clears waivers.
Johnson had minor surgery two weeks ago for an undisclosed injury, leaving the starting cornerback job to rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke.
"When the time comes, he'll be back out there, ready to play," Jackson said.
Johnson said he feels better than he has in two years.
"Hands down, I'll be ready for Monday night," Johnson said, referring to the season opener Sept. 12 against the Denver Broncos.
"It's a lot different, because you see so much more, and that's something I learned this past week," said Chekwa, a cornerback at Ohio State.
"When coaches leave, you don't really talk for a while," Jackson said. "I think there needs to be some time. I will speak to him on Friday if our paths cross. I think it's all good."