Raiders get boost for receiving corps

Associated Press Modified: September 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm •  Published: September 6, 2012
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ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders' thin receiving corps got a boost Thursday when Denarius Moore returned to practice from an injury and the team signed Derek Hagan.

Moore practiced on a limited basis for the first time since Aug. 4 as he has been dealing with a hamstring injury first sustained during minicamp in June.

"It felt really good to be back out there with my teammates and get my timing down with the quarterback, just getting a feel for things," he said. "I've been out for so long you somewhat forget the fundamentals."

Moore's return was welcome news to a Raiders offense that struggled at times during the preseason. He had a stellar rookie season, catching 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns. His 18.7 yards per catch were the fourth-highest in the league and his eight catches on passes more than 20 yards downfield gave Oakland a much-needed vertical threat that opened up opposing defenses.

Moore has been unable to work much with quarterback Carson Palmer this offseason. He was on the field for OTAs but got hurt early in minicamp. He had four full practices in training camp before being hurt again and had not made it back on the field with the team until Thursday.

"I know it's been a frustrating training camp for him because he's a football player and that's what he wants to be doing," Palmer said. "It's good to see him out there getting reps, getting his legs back out there underneath him. He's going to need that. You lose football shape really fast and it's hard to get it back. So it's good to see him getting some work today and hopefully he'll continue to improve as the week goes on."

With Moore working back from his injury and Jacoby Ford still sidelined by a sprained left foot, the Raiders needed help at receiver for the opener against San Diego next Monday.

That's why they brought Hagan back for a second stint with the team, adding a veteran presence to a young group. Hagan had 11 catches for 114 yards in six games for Oakland last season. He was cut midway through the season and spent the rest of 2011 and this year's training camp with Buffalo before being cut last week.

Hagan spent two weeks in Oakland last season with Palmer before being released, giving the two some familiarity. Most everything else about the offense is different under new coordinator Greg Knapp.

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