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Raiders’ Donald Penn strong in first action after holdout, now waits for a new deal

Oakland Raiders tackle Donald Penn during an NFL football team activity Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

JERRY MCDONALD,

ARLINGTON, Texas — Donald Penn looked as if he’d never been away.

The Raiders left tackle got some work with the first team, about 15 snaps in all, during a 24-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night, including a 10-play scoring drive.

“I was surprised, to be honest with you,” Penn said. “Going into it, you never know. You work out as much as you want but it’s hard to simulate actual football. The strength coach, I’m glad they had the faith in me to know I could get back out there. They trusted my training, trusted me as a veteran player.”

Penn said it is his understanding that general manager Reggie McKenzie will address a contract that pays him $5.8 million this year — far below the standard for a Pro Bowl player who protects the blind side of quarterback Derek Carr.

“That’s the plan, man,” Penn said. “We’ve got a great owner, we got a good GM. I came in here, putting my trust in them. That’s what they told me. I’m going to sit here and wait and control what I can control and try to get better from what I put out there today.”

Penn said he didn’t want to hold out but felt it was something he had to do. His plan all along was to get to the third week of the preseason to give him enough time to be ready for the opener.

“I came back for my teammates and my coaches,” Penn said. “We’ve got a good thing going. I knew in Week 3 I needed to get myself ready for Week 1. That was in my head. I’m going to be the best Donald Penn on Sunday for my teammates. That’s why I made the decision to come back.”

His entry on to the practice field, however, was a complete to surprise to teammates he has kept in touch with throughout.

“I just flew in that morning,” Penn said. “Landed at 12:55 and practice was at 1:45. Got there and went straight to (practice) and got it going. Anything I can do for the team.”

Coach Jack Del Rio gave Penn a positive review.

“Obviously he had to take care of himself and come back in shape, which he has done,” Del Rio said. “We wanted to get him involved and up to speed and allow him to play a little bit. That’s what we did tonight. He didn’t play a ton, somewhere around 15 plays. That was the idea. All in all, it was pretty solid. I’m pleased with that.”