ALAMEDA – If the Raiders were in a big game, like the Super Bowl, Derrick Burgess could have played on Sunday in Miami.
But they weren’t and the Pro Bowl defensive end has missed a second straight game with a right calf injury.
Many readers are contacting me and speculating Burgess is milking the injury because he didn’t receive the new contract he wants.
I even speculated if Burgess would risk a serious injury and hurt his chances of a new deal.
But I don't think Burgess would hurt the teammates that respect him so much by not playing if he could.
Am I surprised Burgess has missed two games? Yes. In spite of his injury history, he is one of the toughest Raiders.
But I wouldn’t go as far as to say Burgess is milking the injury.
If Burgess wanted to do that, he had the perfect chance this offseason.
He had hernia surgery before training camp, but worked feverishly to get in shape to play in preseason games.
I’m sure if Burgess said he didn’t need to play in the preseason, he wouldn’t have been forced to.
Athletes do stay out longer than they have to with injuries. I just don’t believe Burgess would do that.
With all the games he missed before coming to the Raiders, I know he wants to play.
Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said it’s in the best interest of the team not throw Burgess on the field Week 4 and cause an injury that would cost him two games to linger the rest of the season.
You might not believe that, but I’m inclined to believe Kiffin on that one.
I hope you didn’t expect Kiffin to declare Daunte Culpepper the Raiders starting quarterback.
Of course, he wouldn’t do that.
With the Raiders’ bye this week, Kiffin has no reason to break tradition and reveal the starter anything other than two days before the game.
But if there’s any consolation, Kiffin said if the Raiders had a game today, Daunte’s the man.
But the Bengals and Patriots play tonight.
The wacky world of Mike Williams continues.
He had a touchdown in the first quarter nullified by a questionable, nah, bad pass interference call. There might have been one for an illegal pick set by another Raiders receiver, but Williams did nothing wrong in my view.
But Williams celebrating Justin Fargas’ touchdown before realizing there were Dolphins chasing him was just the latest thing that puzzles Kiffin about his former pupil at USC.
Kiffin joked Williams thought he was running with Reggie Bush and it was a sure touchdown. Fargas was tackled, though Williams did try to block for him when he realized Fargas wasn’t in the clear.
“There’s not many things that get me really upset during a game, but that’s the No. 1 thing,” Kiffin said. “And that’s effort. Whether he meant it or not, he was going into celebration because he really thought it was a touchdown. But it’s not OK.”
As for injuries, Josh McCown is still wearing a boot on his left foot. X-rays on LaMont Jordan’s back were negative.
Also, Dominic Rhodes will practice on Wednesday with the team now that his four-game suspension is over.
The Raiders have a roster exemption for Rhodes until next week, so they don’t have to cut or trade anyone for now.