Asomugha setting the bar in Raiders secondary

It's two weeks before the Raiders open the regular season against Detroit. Most of the players have left the field and are preparing to go home for the day. Not Nnamdi Asomugha.

As has been his habit for the past several years, the veteran cornerback remained behind and continued to work out for nearly another 30 minutes.

Asomugha, who entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2003, didn't fully develop into a top-flight cornerback until last season when he led Oakland with eight interceptions. It was a season worthy of Pro Bowl recognition, but Asomugha wasn't voted to Hawaii. He received a late invitation but couldn't make it because of travel issues.

Regardless, Asomugha continues to establish himself as the cornerstone of the Raiders secondary. His work after practices is a big reason why. He routinely runs his defensive drops while having an assistant coach throw passes in his direction. Time and time again, Asomugha goes through the routine while many of his fellow teammates have already left the building.

That was the case Sunday when the Raiders held their first practice since Friday's 20-10 preseason win over St. Louis. While most of Oakland's players were in the locker room or speeding out of the parking lot, Asomugha remained in his uniform and continued to work out on the practice field.

Other notes from Sunday's practice:

* Defensive back Stanford Routt might play in a preseason game for the first time this year. Routt has been out with a knee injury since early in training camp and only recently returned to practice. Kiffin said Routt "might" play against Seattle.

* Jeremy Newberry did not work out but will split reps with Jake Grove with Oakland's first offense in the preseason game against the Seahawks.

* Wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins suffered a mysterious pain in his side during team meetings prior to practice and was taken to a local hospital for observation.

* Tight ends O.J. Santiago and John Madsen are both nursing hamstring injuries. Santiago did not play against the Rams and was held out of Sunday's practice as well. Santiago ran with a team trainer on an adjacent practice field while the rest of the Raiders worked out. Madsen did practice but wore a bag of ice on the back of his left leg.

* Running back LaMont Jordan was moving around slowly in the locker room after practice and wore a thick bag of ice around his lower back. Jordan was bothered by a lower back injury early in training camp.

* Safety Donovin Darius is expected to return to practice Monday, Kiffin said.


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