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Heyward-Bey Returning To Help Raiders Passing Game


Five touchdowns in four games isn't the kind of production you typically want out of your passing game.

That's what the Raiders, Atlanta's Week 6 opponent, and quarterback Carson Palmer have produced so far this season. Coming off their bye week last week, players returning to good health and back into the lineup figures to help them improve in that area.

Speedster Darrius Heyward-Bey is set to make his return after missing Oakland's Week 4 game with a concussion and Denarius Moore has been improving health-wise and numbers-wise after missing the first game of the season.

On Wednesday, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, speaking with the media via conference call, said the coming and going of players on offense has hurt the passing game.

"It's been a struggle at times because the continuity at the receiver position hasn't been where we've wanted it to be," Allen said. "We've missed a lot of time due to injuries and so we haven't had the continuity that we've been looking for. I think as we get Darrius Heyward-Bey back, with Denarius Moore being healthy, our ability to get more consistency at the wide receiver position will help us in the passing game."

The Raiders have been averaging 258 yards passing per game this season, but Heyward-Bey and Moore haven't been on the field at the same time for Palmer very often. While Moore is a more complete receiver and the player most believe is the Raiders' No. 1, Heyward-Bey has made progress over his career and his speed can't be taken lightly.

"He can flat run," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "He's probably one of the faster guys in the NFL, had track speed at the (NFL) Combine. He's catching the ball. He's missed some time this year with some injuries. We've got to make sure he doesn't get behind us and Carson get him the ball down the field."

Both Heyward-Bey and Moore each have one receiving touchdown this season.

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