Nov 20, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski (61) prepares to snap the ball in play against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at the Metrodome. The Raiders win 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Stefen Wisniewski returns to practice Wednesday as Raiders long return to offensive line health continues

Oakland Raiders starting center Stefen Wisniewski practiced for the first time in over three weeks on Wednesday afternoon. That’s a huge boon for an ailing offensive line that was in shambles during its last game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wisniewski missed two games and nine consecutive practices, and the line was horrendously bad without him at the fold, allowing ten sacks in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs prior to the bye week.

His return actually improves more than just his spot on the Raiders line. Wisniewski allowed Mike Brisiel to move back to right guard ater Brisiel was forced to play center for the first time in his NFL career against the Chiefs due to an injury to Andre Gurode.

Backup center Andre Gurode, who injured his knee at Kansas City remains out of practice along with Right tackle Tony Pashos (hip flexor) worked on the side, but did not participate with the team. It was an encouraging sign for Pashos, who before getting injured was having a rejuvenated season returning to working alongside former Jaguars teammate Khaliff Barnes.

Wisniewski’s return is huge going into a matchup with Dick LeBeau’s Steelers defense that will surely be bringing a ton of blitz packages on Sunday. The Raiders will still be very thin on the line, but getting their first string center back is extremely valuable especially after the issues Gurode and Brisiel had in holding down the fort in his absence. It takes experience to play center in the NFL and Wisniewski is a very good NFL center his return should help things get a lot more organized on the line in the meantime.

Dennis Allen is expected to reveal more about injuries this afternoon. Check back on for the transcript Wednesday evening.

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Tags: AFC West Oakland Raiders Stefen Wisniewski

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