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Raiders CB Gareon Conley ready to return to practice on Monday

Gareon Conley, Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are set to get a very important part of their defense back in practice on Monday. Unfortunately, it’s not Khalil Mack, who continues to hold out for a new contract.

Instead, it’s second-year cornerback Gareon Conley, who has missed the last couple of weeks of training camp due to a hip strain.

“I’m feeling good,” Conley said, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’m ready to be back. It’s been a long time since I’ve played. I’m anxious to do it.”

Conley, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, has had his fair share of injury issues since coming into the league. He missed all but two games during his rookie year due to a shin injury which required surgery.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said his “prayers have been answered” with Conley’s recovery and that the Raiders “need” him on the field.

Gruden has singled Conley out for praise a couple of times this offseason and even said he plans to build his completely revamped cornerback depth chart around the young corner.

Conley and free-agent signing Rashaan Melvin are likely to start, with veterans Leon Hall, Shareece Wright, and Daryl Worley backing them up. The Raiders have also kept in contact with veterans Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Bashaud Breeland.

Gruden has obviously put pressure on Conley not just to perform at a high level on the field, but to actually stay on it. Hopefully, this recent hip strain was just a minor setback and that he can maintain a clean bill of health as he heads into his second season.