Raiders won't have Murray against Rams
Nov. 28, 2014
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray failed to pass the final test of the NFL-mandated concussion protocol and will not play Sunday against St. Louis.
Murray had been limited in two practices earlier this week but was held out of Friday's workout after being ruled out against the Rams.
Interim coach Tony Sparano declined to go into details about Murray's situation or whether the second-year running back had suffered any type of setback.
"He did not pass the last part of the test," Sparano said. "I don't need to go into those details but he's out."
Losing Murray is a significant blow to Oakland's offense.
He rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders' 24-20 victory over Kansas City on Nov. 20 — the team's first victory in more than a calendar year. Murray was knocked out of the game in the first half after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit by Chiefs' safety Kurt Coleman.
After the game, Murray walked through the Raiders locker room smiling and in good spirits. He was that way earlier this week and sounded hopeful of playing against the Rams.
"I'm feeling better each day as we go along," Murray said Wednesday. "With these kinds of things you just have to take it one day at a time and you just have to follow the right procedure so I'm just making sure I'm doing that and listening to what the trainers have me doing."
Murray had been buried on the depth chart until his breakout night against the Chiefs. Sparano had previously indicated the Raiders would increase Murray's workload over the remainder of the season, but that was before Murray suffered the concussion.
Oakland will likely continue to rely on Darren McFadden as its primary back against the Rams. Fullback Marcel Reece, who rushed for 34 yards on seven carries during the winning drive against Kansas City, is also an option, though Sparano was vague when asked about that possibility.
"We'll see," Sparano said. "He ran the ball well. He should get carries."
Sparano was equally evasive when asked who would return punts against St. Louis and whether wide receiver Rod Streater would play.
The Raiders leading receiver a year ago, Streater has been out since suffering a broken foot in Week 3. He underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after, then returned to practice this week.
"We're going to take our time with that," Sparano said. "You have to be completely sure that the guy is ready to go. We'll see. Right now I don't know if Chris Long is playing so (the Rams) don't need to know if Rod Streater is playing."
Notes: S Larry Asante (shoulder) was limited and is probable. CB TJ Carrie (ankle) and TE Brian Leonhardt (concussion) are also probable. LG Gabe Jackson (knee) was limited and is questionable. ... CB Carlos Rogers (knee), CB Neiko Thorpe (hand) and S Jonathan Dowling (back) are out.