ALAMEDA, Calif. — Raiders cornerback David Amerson is expected to play in Sunday’s game against Tennessee, one week after suffering a mild concussion.
Amerson has been limited all week in practice after getting temporarily knocked out in the fourth quarter against the Falcons but told reporters Thursday he feels fine and is ready to play.
“I feel fine good. I feel normal, ready to go,” Amerson said. “It wasn’t really a blow to the head, I got kind of hit under my chin so it was more like getting knocked out. I was knocked out for a minute. With the trainers being on their job they were being very cautious of what was going on, what my steps were after that happened. I’ll be cool.”
Players with concussions are required by the NFL to pass a battery of tests before being cleared to play. According to a Raiders spokesman, Amerson is still in the protocol but is able to do some physical work in practice.
That’s key because the Raiders defense needs all the help it can get to stop an early season onslaught after giving up 1,035 yards in the first two games. According to Pro Football Reference, Oakland is the first team since the 1967 Falcons to allow 500 yards or more in each of the first two games.
The Raiders rank 31st in points allowed and last in total defense and pass defense.
Much of the problem has centered around Oakland’s secondary, which underwent a makeover in the offseason. Cornerback Sean Smith was signed to a $38 million contract, free safety Reggie Nelson was lured away from Cincinnati as a free agent and the team used the 14th overall pick in the draft on safety Karl Joseph.
Yet both Drew Brees of the Saints and Matt Ryan of the Falcons had field days while finding gaping holes in the Raiders’ coverages. The two quarterbacks combined to pass for 819 yards and seven touchdowns while being intercepted once.
Joseph has played exclusively on special teams but will see time on defense this week against the Titans.
“We have high expectations for Karl,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. “Practice is that place where you get better. You really have to be competitive in practice. We don’t know exactly how much he’s going to play, but you’re going to see him play.”
Amerson’s concussion was his third since entering the NFL as a second-round pick by Washington in 2013. He was injured late in the game while trying to make a diving stop on a 13-yard touchdown by Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman.
The blow temporarily knocked Amerson out, and after being examined by trainers, he was pulled from the game. Amerson appeared fine afterward but was put in the concussion protocol as a precaution.
At a time when concussions are forcing some NFL players into early retirement, Amerson said he hasn’t even thought about it.
“I’ve been kind of fortunate,” he said. “I’ve had some concussions but I don’t think I’ve had any that have been very severe or crazy to where I think it’s career-ending. It’s just been little minor stings, maybe getting knocked out a play or something like that. I’m fine. I don’t feel any different.”
Notes: Right tackle Menelik Watson (groin), center Rodney Hudson (knee), guard Gabe Jackson (knee), kick returner Taiwan Jones (knee), defensive lineman Jihad Ward (hip) were limited in practice for a second straight day. Rookie defensive lineman Darius Latham (concussion) was also limited after sitting out Wednesday. Tackle Austin Howard (ankle) and backup tackle Matt McCants (knee) did not practice.