Click photo to enlarge
Oakland Raiders' Brandon Myers (83) is tackled against San Diego Chargers' Eric Weddle (32) in the fourth quarter at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

ALAMEDA -- The numbers say Brandon Myers is one of the NFL's most productive tight ends through three games.

With 15 receptions for 206 yards, only four players at his position -- Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez (21), Baltimore's Dennis Pitta (18), New Orleans' Jimmy Graham (17) and Detroit's Brandon Pettigrew (16) have more catches.

And only Gonzalez (214) has more receiving yards.

It was Myers who caught the most important pass of a 34-31 victory over Pittsburgh last week, a 15-yard strike from Carson Palmer on third-and-10 from the Raiders' 25-yard line to get the game-winning drive rolling. Steelers safety Ryan Mundy hit Myers hard enough to give him a concussion, but Myers held on to the ball.

"I'm just trying to do whatever the coach asks," Myers said. "If it comes to the tight end, it comes to us. If not, we're blocking for someone else."

Palmer is a bit more effusive.

"He's probably got the best hands on the team," Palmer said. "He makes diving catches, one-handed catches. You don't ever seen him drop anything. He understands the game, knows how to set up routes, get open in zones -- just a really solid, all-around player."

Myers was on the field for the second straight day Thursday and looks to be on track to start against the Broncos in Denver on Sunday. His status is similar to that of Jon Condo and Rolando McClain, both of whom didn't miss a game after concussions the past two weeks.


Advertisement

Myers is keeping his head on swivel both literally and figuratively, knowing how the NFL works, and was pleased the team didn't see the need to bring in another tight end after releasing Kevin Boss in the offseason.

"You never know what's going to happen, especially with a new organization and new coaches and things like that," Myers said. "For them to do that, it was on us to step up in the games and make plays. So far, we've done that."

Palmer has found Myers to be a valuable security blanket. The first-down pass in the Pittsburgh game was the 15th throw that Palmer has made to Myers, and he has completed every one.

No other receiver in the NFL has more than nine catches without an incompletion.

  • Veteran defensive end Andre Carter practiced for the first time with the Raiders, wearing No. 97, and Allen wouldn't rule out the possibility of him getting a few snaps as a pass rusher against Denver.

  • Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey hasn't reached the stage where he can take the field in a limited fashion as he works his way through the NFL concussion protocol, making it unlikely he'd be available against the Broncos. Also missing practice were cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) and tackle Khalif Barnes (groin).

  • Linebacker Carl Ihenacho, waived to make room for Vic So'oto, was signed to the practice squad, and safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah was released.

  • Tackle Joe Barksdale was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Rams. The 2011 third-round draft pick was waived Wednesday.