The Raiders released wide receiver/kick returner Yamon Figurs on Wednesday, three days after he fumbled the kickoff at the start of the game against the Tennessee Titans.
Figurs' primary role was that of the kick and punt returner. He will be replaced by rookie Jacoby Ford and Johnnie Lee Higgins, coach Tom Cable said. It hasn't been determined who will return kicks and who will be the punt returner against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Cable cited Figurs' "explosiveness" as the main reason he made the 53-man roster. Fumbling against the Titans and twice in exhibition games apparently outweighed his potential as an extra receiver. The Raiders signed offensive lineman Erik Pears. He made the 53-man roster but was released Sept. 8 to make room for the addition of defensive tackle Jay Alford.
Pears worked out for the Seattle Seahawks on Monday but preferred rejoining the Raiders, he said. Cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha (groin), Chris Johnson (stinger) and Walter McFadden (hamstring), receiver Chaz Schilens (knee), left guard Robert Gallery (hamstring), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring), safety Hiram Eugene (leg) and linebacker Travis Goethel (back) missed practice.
Cable said an MRI on Asomugha's groin came back negative and that he should be back at practice today. The status of the other players will be updated today. Running back Michael Bush (thumb), defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (elbow) and free safety Michael Huff (knee) practiced without any lingering effects from their injuries, Cable said.
Bush missed the Titans game, but he has a chance to play against the Rams. Upon Bush's return, he will share the workload with Darren McFadden, Cable said. The Raiders enter Sunday's game against the Rams on a five-game losing streak in regular-season home openers. They won seven straight before the losing streak started in 2005. The Raiders waived defensive ends Jay Richardson (knee) and Alex Daniels (groin) after reaching injury settlements. Both players suffered injuries during training camp and were released on the final roster cutdown before being placed on the injured-reserve list.