Michael Ainsworth / Dallas Morning News

Michael Ainsworth Dallas Morning News The Raiders' Rod Streater (80) tries to break free from Dallas' Mana Silva after making a catch in an Aug. 13 exhibition game.

Raiders rookie receiver Streater grabs chance to start

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012 - 5:38 pm

ALAMEDA – With his NFL debut less than a week away, Rod Streater is trying to not be overwhelmed by the moment.

But that doesn't make the wide receiver's story any less impressive.

With injuries to Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford putting their status in doubt, Streater could be in the starting lineup when the Raiders host the San Diego Chargers on Monday night.

Not bad for a player who didn't hear his name called during the draft in April.

"It's pretty amazing from going undrafted to getting here," Streater said. "But in the end, I still have to produce, continue to do my job and continue to compete at a high level. I don't want it to get to me and take my performance down."

Streater had only 19 catches as a senior at Temple, a Philadelphia school best known for its basketball tradition.

Streater is taking the attention and unexpected responsibility in stride.

"I'm getting a lot of text messages," Streater said. "Everybody is excited. I'm just trying to keep it all handled and just focus on what I have to do, my job."

In the exhibition season, Streater caught 18 passes for 165 yards, both team highs. That's not unexpected, as the preseason is full of players with impressive statistics who are long shots to make teams.

Streater knows Monday's game won't be like the preseason. At least that's what he's been told.

"The intensity," Streater said. "Everything counts. You have to go out there and execute your job. Everything has to be precise because it counts, so you don't want to make any mistakes."

The Raiders will need Streater to be more than an exhibition game star, and the rookie is working to be more than that Monday.

"Study with (quarterback) Carson (Palmer) every day and try to take in anything he has to offer" is how Streater is preparing. "Continue to work hard and study the plays so I can go out there and perform, so that I can do it."

Streater admits the scenario is rather improbable. Undrafted rookies aren't supposed to be preparing to start a season opener.

"Yeah, I didn't expect it, but you got to prepare for the worst and just go out there and be ready to perform at any time," Streater said. "You never know what can happen. It's the next-man-up mentality."

As impressed as the Raiders have been with Streater, having Moore and Ford available would be ideal.

Moore hasn't practiced since Aug. 4 because of a hamstring injury. Ford sprained his left foot Aug. 17 in Oakland's second preseason game at Arizona.

Tuesday, Ford was able to do some physical activity for the first time since being injured.

"Yeah, it was cool to get the chance to jog a little bit," Ford said. "It's inside the training room. Not where I want to be yet, but it's progress. I have to try to stay positive as much as possible."

Ford, who missed six games last season with an injury to the same foot, said he expects to hear from team doctors this week to know if this injury is as serious. He said he probably would need a shoe that would take pressure off the bottom of his left foot.

Until then, Ford hasn't ruled himself out of Monday's game.

"Just kind of up in the air at this point," Ford said. "I just have to see what the coaches and the training staff think."

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