SEATTLE -- Having gotten through their dress rehearsal in the third preseason game, the Raiders will be counting the minutes to the season and trying to stay healthy when they visit the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday at CenturyLink Field.

It is the last chance for players on the bubble to make a bid for the 53-man roster, which will be determined Friday, as well as to put something on film that may interest another team should they be cut.

The tricky part is identifying who those players really are, because general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen already have made some decisions, and they're not about to tip their hand against Seattle.

For example, Allen conceded he would consider "hiding" a player on the bench if it meant a better chance of sneaking a bubble prospect onto the practice squad.

"We certainly don't want to make available a guy we think might be a good player," he said.

Allen would not disclose the status of running back Darren McFadden, healthy through three preseason games, or defensive tackle Richard Seymour, whose knees have been through 12 seasons of NFL wars and who will be rested frequently this season.

Chances are McFadden, Seymour and kicker Sebastian Janikowski (groin) will get the night off.

As for the rest of the healthy starters, Allen has indicated they will play a few series.


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"Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt," Allen said. "The whole preseason is a delicate balance of getting guys reps and getting them ready to play the opening night of the season and not working them too much where you wear them down.

"All of us have only so many shots in our body, and you don't want to use them all in the preseason, but you want to do enough work to get better."

With the main focus being avoiding injury, anyone who is getting a lot of playing time, particularly in the second half, ought to be concerned.

Quarterback Carson Palmer would like another chance to work on some of the red-zone issues that have plagued the first-team offense.

"I hope I get to play, but that's not our job as players," Palmer said. "That's what the coaches do, and we'll be ready for whenever we're told to play."

Defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie is coming off a performance against the Detroit Lions that included three pass deflections, one of which was intercepted by defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi, and one sack.

He is in a crowded position group that includes Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Desmond Bryant and Bilukidi, plus two defensive ends -- Lamarr Houston and Dave Tollefson -- who can play inside.


Last season, Cumbie led the Raiders with six tackles in the preseason finale against Seattle, and it helped earn him a spot on the practice squad. He said he will go into the Seahawks game with a mix of desperation and professionalism.

"I've got to have another good performance," he said. "At the same time, I've got to stay with my technique and play with effort. You do that, and the rest will take care of itself."

Big plays are nice, but what looks good on the television screen isn't always what impresses the coaches in the film room. Cumbie believes this year's coaching staff will make decisions based on details.

"They're real sticklers on technique, aiming points on the defensive line, and everybody is held accountable for their job," Cumbie said.

  • The Raiders claimed defensive back Coye Francies off waivers from the Seahawks. Francies might get a look on kickoff returns, with four returns for 66 yards for Seattle.

    Defensive back Conroy Black was waived to make room for Francies, who played in Cleveland in 2009-10 and played his final college season at San Jose State in 2008.

    For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.

    Thursday's EXHIBITION

    Raiders (1-2) at Seattle (3-0), 7 p.m. KICU, KQCA