ALAMEDA – Defensive end Derrick Burgess’ status for Sunday is “doubtful” according to coach Lane Kiffin.
His troublesome right calf is acting up again and Burgess did not finish practice today.
The calf injury has cost Burgess two games. His absence is a reason the Raiders can’t break free for sacks and impacts the pass defense as a whole.
Without teams leaving tight ends and running backs in to help against Burgess, there are more players for the Raiders to cover.
Kiffin said Burgess isn’t as far along as the team thought he was after returning to practice last week.
The defense might not get further along until Burgess returns.
*Defensive tackle Gerard Warren didn’t practice because of an undisclosed thigh injury. LaMont Jordan’s status remains in question. His back is still a problem.
*I had a brief chat with Warren Sapp about defensive linemen and their legs in the wake of Trent Green’s block that left him unconscious and the defensive lineman he hit, Travis Johnson, saying “(forget) Trent Green.”
He said no one listens to defensive linemen so that’s why there’s never much talk about rules to protect them from blockers that aim at their knees.
Sapp said you have to keep your head on a swivel as a defensive lineman, especially on plays like screens where offensive players have a chance to blindside you.
Sapp doesn’t believe Green meant to have his bell rung by Johnson’s knee or try to take Johnson's knee out.
But he does have some advice for Johnson and other linemen.
One those plays, you better look around. And if you force a turnover, it’s your turn to block someone.
Quarterbacks, keep your head on a swivel.