ALAMEDA — The Oakland Raiders packed an equipment van, piled players into three buses and left their facilities in the rearview mirror on Thursday.
No, the team hasn't found a new home to replace their dilapidated digs at the Oakland Coliseum. But with a heavy rain storm pelting the Bay Area, the Raiders had no choice but to relocate their practice to an indoor facility in a converted airplane hangar a short drive away.
“It wasn't really that big,” interim Oakland coach Tony Sparano said. “We had seen the forecast. We went out last week in the rain but with the way this thing was coming in, with the wind and the rain, there wasn't much we were going to get accomplished there so we planned ahead.”
The Raiders made the change Thursday morning in response to what was expected to be the most powerful storm to hit the area in five years.
Steady rains fell most of the morning and afternoon, partially submerging a portion of Oakland's practice fields. Even the field covered by Field Turf — which was installed in 2002 — was unusable.
Because the Raiders (2-11) do not have an indoor practice facility at their Alameda headquarters, they found an offsite location to prepare for Sunday's game in Kansas City against the Chiefs.
The site is a public facility that includes soccer fields and basketball hoops.
Despite the hassle of having to move the players, coaches and equipment — which included the video department — Sparano was satisfied with what the Raiders were able to accomplish.
“We got good work in today,” Sparano said. “Guys handled it well. It restricts you a little bit any time you do that but I think we're in pretty good shape.”
Six players — including two starters — did not make the trip because of injuries.
Cornerback Tarell Brown was held out after aggravating a foot and ankle injury when he fell awkwardly while attempting to break up a pass during last week's win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Though he came back and finished the game, Brown has not practiced this week. His status for Sunday's game in Kansas City is uncertain.
“I didn't have as much concern yesterday,” Sparano said. “But today not practicing gives me a little bit more concern.”
Right tackle Menelik Watson continues to be sidelined with ankle and foot injuries. The 2013 second-round pick had started nine games before sitting out against San Francisco.
Defensive tackle Pat Sims was also held out with a shoulder injury.
Notes: LB Sio Moore was limited with a hip injury. WR Andre Holmes (shoulder) and CB Chimdi Chekwa (shoulder) were both limited. … S Larry Asante (shoulder) and TE Brian Leonhardt (concussion) did not practice.