ALAMEDA Ė If the Raiders were in a big game, like the Super Bowl, Derrick Burgess could have played on Sunday in Miami.
But they werenít 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 didnít 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 wouldnít 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.
Iím sure if Burgess said he didnít need to play in the preseason, he wouldnít have been forced to.
Athletes do stay out longer than they have to with injuries. I just donít 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 itís 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 Iím inclined to believe Kiffin on that one.
I hope you didnít expect Kiffin to declare Daunte Culpepper the Raiders starting quarterback.
Of course, he wouldnít do that.
With the Raidersí bye this week, Kiffin has no reason to break tradition and reveal the starter anything other than two days before the game.
But if thereís any consolation, Kiffin said if the Raiders had a game today, Daunteís 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 Fargasí 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 wasnít in the clear.
ďThereís not many things that get me really upset during a game, but thatís the No. 1 thing,Ē Kiffin said. ďAnd thatís effort. Whether he meant it or not, he was going into celebration because he really thought it was a touchdown. But itís not OK.Ē
As for injuries, Josh McCown is still wearing a boot on his left foot. X-rays on LaMont Jordanís 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 donít have to cut or trade anyone for now.