Raiders depth at tight end tested

John Madsen

The Raiders felt pretty good about their tight end situation, to the point where they had no problem parting ways with Courtney Anderson and Randal Williams. But things have changed considerably since.

The latest blow was the loss of Fred Wakefield, who suffered what looked to be a serious knee injury during practice Monday.

Wakefield, who had gotten off to a strong start through the first week of training camp, was injured during a special teams drill when he tried to cut left while planting off his right leg. The 28-year-old, who was third on Oakland's depth chart and a starter on the kickoff team, immediately dropped to the turf and clutched his right leg.

Trainers rushed to his aid while the rest of the team continued with its drill. Safety Donovan Darius went to Wakefield and appeared to be praying over his fallen teammate. Wakefield's right leg was immobilized with a brace that ran from his hip down to his ankle.

Several players walked over to check on Wakefield, including Nnamdi Asomugha, B.J. Ward, Chris Carr, John Madsen, Carlos Francis, Dominic Rhodes, Johnnie Morant, Justin Fargas and Fabian Washington.

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and head coach Lane Kiffin patted Wakefield on the chest after he was loaded onto a waiting cart.

"(It) looked pretty bad there," Kiffin said later. "We'll have more information on it but it did not look very good at all."

Wakefield's loss could put the Raiders back in the market for a tight end. Rookie Zach Miller, Madsen and veteran Tony Stewart are the only three healthy tight ends on the roster. James Adkisson has missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury and would give the team some flexibility, though Kiffin isn't certain when Adkisson will return.

"James was out there running today," Kiffin said. "We've got to figure out … how fast can we get (him) healthy and out there. Obviously we may need to explore bringing someone else in."

One name to keep in mind: Doug Jolley, the former Raider who was with Tampa Bay last season. Jolley had some good moments while with Oakland but was traded to the Jets in 2005. During three seasons with the Raiders, Jolley caught 90 passes for 972 yards and five touchdowns.

Jolley is a free agent and is currently not in anyone's training camp.

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