T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't expect his first practice of the 2011 season to come in November. But after weeks of waiting, he was on the field Wednesday, a day after signing with the Raiders.
Wide receiver Derek Hagan was cut to open a roster spot for him.
Houshmandzadeh (pronounced HOOSH-man-zah-duh) spoke with Raiders coach Hue Jackson during training camp and worked out for the 49ers, New England and the New York Giants.
"I never thought it would get as far as it did, so I had different opportunities," Houshmandzadeh said. "You don't think it's going to get this far, so certain opportunities, you say, 'Oh let's just wait.' And a wait turned into a wait and wait and wait."
Jackson was Houshmandzadeh's position coach for three seasons in Cincinnati and wanted to bring in the 10-year veteran in the preseason. But late owner Al Davis did not want to add a veteran.
"Hey, like I told you, when Coach (Davis) makes a decision, he made it," Jackson said. "Well, now all of a sudden, when I keep looking at our football team and where we are, I say, 'Hey, here's a guy who can help us now that we're in a whole different situation,' and that's why I did what I did."
Jackson expects Houshmandzadeh to play Sunday against Denver. The 34-year-old sees where he can fit in.
"They're all fast (wide receivers)," he said. "But they don't really have a guy who can work the middle of the field and can run routes. So I think I can bring that to the table.
"With those guys on the outside and the way Carson (Palmer) throws the ball and his ability to understand what a defense is trying to do, I think we can be really good if we put this thing together real fast."
Injury report -- Running back Darren McFadden (foot), linebacker Rolando McClain (ankle), and cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) and Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring) did not practice Wednesday.
McFadden was leading the NFL in rushing before being hurt in a Week 7 loss to Kansas City.
"I think we're making progress, but obviously not enough progress to get him back out here," Jackson said.
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