Training camp roundup, Aug. 5

Khalif Barnes' injured left ankle is going to keep him out 6-8 weeks, meaning Mario Henderson is almost guaranteed of being the Raiders' opening day left tackle. But Henderson already had a leg up on the job to begin with. Check out S&BI's latest training camp roundup to find out why.

Khalif Barnes hobbled out of the Raiders locker room Wednesday on a pair of crutches, his left leg encased in a cast that extends from his foot to just under his knee. An MRI test taken Tuesday revealed that the 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive linemen suffered a fractured ankle that almost assuredly will force him to miss the start of the regular season.

With Barnes out, third-year player Mario Henderson appears a lock to be the opening day starter at left tackle.

That comes as no surprise because Henderson, who started five games in 2008, has been the odds-on favorite to win the job anyway. He has dominated throughout the first week of camp and has been working almost exclusively with the starting offense while Barnes took reps with the backups.

"He has worked so hard and has really changed who he was early in his career," head coach Tom Cable said. "If you talked to Mario, he would probably tell you that his mind was made up, he was really going after this thing. He knew he was going to be pressed, but to me, all (Barnes' injury) does to him is put a little hit on him to be right all the time."

Barnes was injured during Tuesday's practice when a pair of teammates rolled up on the back of his left leg. He lay injured on the field as a trainer examined him and Barnes later limped off the field before being taken to a local hospital to undergo an MRI test.

Initial concerns about his knee were erased by the MRI but the ankle fracture means Barnes will be out 6-8 weeks.

"It sucks but it's the nature of our game," Barnes said Wednesday. "It's nobody's fault. It was something freakish that happened. I've been hit like that a few times but the ankle got caught and fractured the bone a little bit.

"I was real frustrated yesterday when it initially happened but as time went on I figured I have to stay positive. So now, since I can't do anything physical on the field, what I can do is stay in my playbook, make sure I'm fresh and even be better than I was progressing than right now. I'll bounce back."

Barnes is expected to stay in the cast for two weeks before being fitted for a walking boot. He said he hopes to be back before the 6-8 week timetable but isn't going to rush it.

"It sets us back a little bit," Cable said. "You just move forward in this business. He will be back, which we are fortunate that way, and he should be back rather early in terms of the regular season. So we will at least have the depth we were counting on there in the first place."

Other news and notes from Wednesday:

-- Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (sore hip), quarterback Jeff Garcia (strained hip), linebacker Ike Ekejiuba (shoulder) and cornerback Chris Johnson (knee strain) attended practice but didn't work out. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren (ill) also missed practice.

-- Linebacker Jon Alston got into his second fight in as many days. This time it was with running back Darren McFadden following a running play. The two locked up and Alston gave McFadden an extra shove as the play ended. McFadden shoved Alston's facemask, knocking his helmet off, then tossed the football at Alston, who then tried to go after McFadden. Thomas Howard stepped in to separate the two and gave McFadden a slight shove when Justin Fargas came to McFadden's defense and shoved Howard.

Calm was eventually restored but Alston kept fuming about it later.

-- During individual position drills, linebackers and defensive backs worked on fumble recoveries while defensive linemen practiced stripping the ball from the quarterback.

-- One of the most spirited drills, as it always is, was the running backs vs. linebackers. Basically it was a pass protection drill, with the ‘backers coming in on blitzes. Initially it was the running backs who got the upper hand, with Michael Bush drilling Ricky Brown and Darren McFadden snuffing Sam Williams. But the linebackers turned it around at the end, getting a pair of wins from Kirk Morrison to lead the way.

-- The defense continues to show a lot of blitzes but it remains to be seen whether that will carry over into the regular season. On Wednesday, the Raiders came in an all-out blitz that would have buried quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

-- Seth Wand was signed to add depth along the offensive line. Linebacker Chris O'Neill was released to make room for Wand.

-- Darrius Heyward-Bey had the catch of the day when he made a one-handed grab near the sidelines against safety Jerome Boyd.

-- Former Raider Steve Wisniewski attended the practice. Wiz is contemplating getting into the coaching side of things and would like to work in the college ranks. He said he is flying to Tennessee next week to check out the Titans' practice.

-- Samie Parker is quietly putting together a strong camp. The veteran wide receiver hasn't dropped many, if any, passes in camp and made a nice catch near the sidelines on a deep pass from JaMarcus Russell. Parker split a pair of defenders, getting in between cornerback Justin Miller and safety Tyvon Branch, to make the call.

-- Running back Darren McFadden spent a portion of practice working out with the wide receivers. It's an indication the Raiders plan to use McFadden more in the passing game than they did a year ago.

-- Rookie Louis Murphy made a brilliant leaping catch over Stanford Routt to haul in a long pass from Russell.

-- Linebacker Thomas Howard limped out of a drill late in practice but said he only rolled on his ankle.

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