Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, celebrating a sack Monday night, isn't worried about the heat in Miami. He's from the South.

Raiders notes: Team braces for humidity in Miami

Published: Friday, Sep. 14, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5C

ALAMEDA – When the Raiders held a night practice at O.co Coliseum late last week, first-year coach Dennis Allen explained it was partly to get used to playing on the infield dirt.

Unless the Chargers sought out a baseball infield to practice on, the Raiders might have been able to use San Diego's unfamiliarity with the surface as an advantage.

As the Raiders prepare this week for the Miami Dolphins, there's one thing they won't be able to simulate – the weather. Forecasts are calling for temperatures to reach the mid-80s in Miami, which by itself isn't so daunting. It's the humidity – with forecasts also showing scattered showers and thunderstorms – that can make walking feel more like wading.

"It's something that's already been talked about," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "It's already been addressed as far as hydrating, getting ready for it, getting mentally prepared for it."

One way the Raiders plan to combat the climate, Allen said, is by constantly rotating players, particularly along the defensive line.

Veterans Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, and fellow starters Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston, all played at least 71 percent of the defensive snaps against the Chargers on Monday.

Backup end Dave Tollefson, as well as tackles Desmond Bryant and Christo Bilukidi – neither of whom played more than 17 of a possible 59 snaps against the Chargers – figure to be more active.

"We're going to have to do a good job with our rotation, and keeping those guys fresh and keeping them where they'll be at their best in the fourth quarter," Allen said. "So we'll have to do a good job of rotating those guys throughout the game."

Kelly, though, was among a handful of Raiders with Southern roots who shrugged off the heat factor.

"Hey, I'm from Jackson, Mississippi. It ain't that hot," Kelly said. "I mean, I'll be all right."

Added linebacker Rolando McClain, who is from Decatur, Ala.: "We played (at) Miami last year, and it felt like home to me. It's just hot. It's not like you died or anything. It's just a little sun. Drink some water, you'll be fine."

Ford update – Allen said there is "probably a strong possibility" that wide receiver Jacoby Ford will be placed on injured reserve after undergoing foot surgery this week. And not the short-term injured reserve that would make him eligible to return to practice after six weeks.

If placed on IR, Ford will not be eligible to return this season.

"It's possible that it could take a long time," Allen said of Ford's recovery.

Center competition – Both Stefen Wisniewski and Alex Parsons have practiced at center with the first-team offense this week, and Allen said the Raiders have yet to decide who will start Sunday.

"We're going to watch them again at practice (today), and then we'll make a decision," Allen said.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



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