NAPA -- Left tackle Jared Veldheer, the most significant story of training camp, was talking to reporters Wednesday as the Raiders' support staff was loading trucks bound for the club facility in Alameda.
Veldheer isn't sure how long he'll be out after having surgery Friday to repair a torn left triceps, but he said it was his intention to play this season.
"I've got another follow-up appointment next week, and they'll start learning more as far as dates and times to shoot for," Veldheer said.
The Raiders have until the Tuesday after the final cutdown to determine whether Veldheer will go on injured reserve but be designated for return, which would mean he'd be out a minimum of seven games. It remains the most likely course of action.
In the meantime, with training camp concluded in Napa, the Raiders prepare to host the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum and are making adjustments with the reality that they'll be without their best and most powerful offensive lineman for a significant amount of time.
"It's like having a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle and you're trying to fit those pieces together and the longer you work at it, the longer you look at it, the easier it is to put those pieces in place," coach Dennis Allen said. "I think we're getting closer to figuring that out."
Veteran Alex Barron will start at left tackle against the Bears. Allen said he's not inclined to move right tackle Khalif Barnes, leaving Willie Smith, newcomer Tony Hills and former guard Tony Bergstrom available to play on the left.
The Raiders also welcomed second-round draft pick Menelik Watson back to practice for the first time since Aug 7. He never made it to team sessions that day, aggravating a calf injury during drills. Watson worked at both right and left tackle in limited snaps.
"When Jared went out, it was another man down," Watson said. "Then the pressure was on a little bit on me personally to get back and help out. But we also knew we had to take our time and not rush anything."
Veldheer said the injury occurred during a routine pass protection drill and simply never got better. He attempted to practice with a brace after an initial MRI exam, then decided on surgery 10 days later.
"I don't think any further damage was done," Veldheer said. "I think whatever happened initially was the thing they ended up seeing on the second MRI."
In the offseason, a doctored photo of Veldheer resembling the "Incredible Hulk" went viral. Veldheer does not believe overtraining had anything to do with the injury.
"The training protects all of that, for the most part," Veldheer said. "I'm not sure what I can do in the future to prevent that stuff, but I'll figure that out, too, and add that to the routine."
Pryor requested No. 2 when he joined the Raiders as a supplemental draft pick in 2011 but was given No. 6 by coach Hue Jackson, presumably because he didn't want the rookie saddled with the number worn by draft bust JaMarcus Russell.
Matt Flynn, a teammate of Russell's at LSU, said of Pryor's change, "I did a double-take. His jersey was a little big for him."
"If you're any player who redefined the game at your position, that is the definition of a Hall of Famer by the fact that everybody knows your name," Kluwe said.
Former Falcons and Eagles defensive end Claude Humphrey is the other senior nominee.
For more on the Raiders follow Jerry McDonald on Twitter at twitter.com/Jerrymcd.
Chicago (1-1) at Raiders (1-1),
7 p.m. KICU (tape-delayed 9 p.m.)