Lito Sheppard has gone from unwanted to the Raiders starting lineup in a little less than eight weeks.

Expected to start his second straight game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Sheppard failed to make the Raiders' 53-man roster after being signed late in training camp.

"It was totally out of left field," Sheppard said, learning of his release not long after playing well in the preseason finale against Seattle. "God bless Al Davis, he is very dedicated to the young personnel he brings in. I was the odd man out."

The Raiders selected cornerbacks in the third and fourth rounds in DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa. Both have struggled with hamstring issues. Chekwa was placed on injured reserve Thursday.

Coupled with the loss of cornerback Chris Johnson since Week 3 with an infection, the Raiders brought back Sheppard on Halloween for additional depth. He started and played well in a 24-17 win over San Diego on Nov. 10, although he did drop an interception thrown right to him.

"I'm just trying to make the most of it now," Sheppard said. "I knew what I would have brought to the table then, and I definitely understood it when they brought me back."

In his 10th season, Sheppard played for the Vikings last season and spent 2009 with the New York Jets after playing for Philadelphia from 2002 through 2008 and making two Pro Bowls.

"Lito brings a veteran experience, he steps on the field, and it's not like he misses a beat," defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan said. "You can put him on the field and really challenge him and not have to pull the reins back."

  • Unrestricted free agent Bryan McCann was placed on the 53-man roster, replacing Chekwa.

    Chekwa missed time in training camp with a shoulder dislocation suffered during his first drill as a Raider and has been hampered with a hamstring pull since starting in Week 4 against New England.

    McCann, 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, played in three games with the Baltimore Ravens and two with Dallas this season. He was with the Cowboys in 2010, and in consecutive weeks had a 101-yard interception return against the New York Giants and a 97-yard punt return against the Detroit Lions.

  • The Raiders have not scored a point in the fourth quarter since Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 42-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in a 25-17 win over the Houston Texans on Oct. 9 -- a span of 70 minutes after having gone scoreless in the fourth quarter in the last four games.

    The last touchdown came with 14:50 left in the same game on an 18-yard pass from Jason Campbell to Chaz Schilens.

    "I can't put my finger on it, I just know it's something I've go to get fixed," coach Hue Jackson said. "We haven't harped on it, but I know that it's true, and that's something I have in the back of my mind is we have to make sure we do a better job closing out in the fourth quarter of games scoring points."

  • Running back Darren McFadden (foot sprain) and wide receiver Jacoby Ford (foot) did not practice. Ford remains in a protective boot. Both will probably be officially ruled out of the Vikings game Friday.

    Defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee) hasn't practiced since the Chargers game, but Jackson said he expects him to play. Also not participating were fullback Manase Tonga (knee), Janikowski (hamstring) and Campbell (collarbone).