ALAMEDA — Sebastian Janikowski took the practice field Wednesday, went through some stretching, then walked to far field to practice field goal attempts with the help of a metal place-kick holder.
What the 17-year-veteran did after that is anybody’s guess, since the rest of the Raiders practice session was closed to the media. He was listed as having been “limited” in terms of participation.
As it stands, Janikowski remains a Raider, although it’s an open question as to whether he’ll be doing the place kicking in the regular-season opener Sunday in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.
“I’m not good about forecasting things,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’ll see how he goes throughout the work week. There was concern early in the week. We’ll need to see how he does, how he responds.
“We had some kickers come in here to make sure that we’re prepared in case he’s not able to go, that we’re covered. That’s really it.”
The news that Janikowski’s spot on the Raiders may be tenuous began Monday night with an ESPN report that he had balked at reworking the final year of his contract worth $4,050,000, and followed up by an NFL Media report that Janikowski was having back issues.
Janikowski declined comment at his locker Tuesday, the day after Josh Lambo, Mike Nugent and Marshall Koehn had gone through workouts in Alameda. All there players were released at the final cutdown to 53 — Lambo by the Los Angeles Chargers, Nugent by the New York Giants and Koehn by the Minnesota Vikings.
The Raiders cut their own second kicker, Giorgio Tavecchio, in the cutdown to 53. Tavecchio had missed an extra point and a field goal attempt in the preseason.
Del Rio attempted to defuse the Janikowski story by implying the decision was strictly health related.
“I think it kind of took on a life of its own with a lot of people reporting and speculating,” Del Rio said. “We’re just doing our due diligence and we’ll see how the week goes.”