Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 22, 2008
Kelly starting to play up to his contract

DENVER - It's now been more than a year since Tommy Kelly went down with a knee injury that cost him the 2007 season.

The consensus was Kelly was on his way to his best season as a pro before going down Oct. 28, 2007 in Tennessee.

Kelly still landed a seven-year deal worth $50.5 million ($18.125 million guaranteed) coming off knee surgery.

Kelly was surprised by the deal, as were most around the NFL.

And Albert Haynesworth probably sent Al Davis a "Thank You" card realizing he could command a lot more in his next deal.

Most players coming off a major knee injury need a full year to start to look fully recovered.

Ten games into this season, Kelly is starting to show signs of why the Raiders wanted to keep him around.

The last time Kelly played in 10 games was 2006. Here's how his numbers stack up this season compared to that season.

2006
40 tackles
2 sacks

2008
40 tackles
3.5 sacks

Kelly finished with 68 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2006.

Kelly has played better lately thanks to improved conditioning and strength in his knee.

Twenty-one of Kelly's 40 tackles have come in the last four games.

Kelly has 2.5 sacks in his last two games.

"His weight is right about three pounds of where it should be, his perfect weight if you will," said interim head coach Tom Cable. "Certainly, the leg, there haven't been problems with that. His confidence is up."

Kelly might not reach double-digit sacks, but should surpass his career best of 4.5 in 2005.

Then next season, Kelly might be the player he's being paid to be for 16 games.

*The Broncos have been bad against the pass this season, but the Raiders have been just as bad throwing the ball.

But the Raiders should be able to run the ball at Denver, which will be without linebackers D.J. Williams and Nate Webster.

*Here's the official injury report for both teams heading into tomorrow's game.

Raiders

OUT
LB Ricky Brown (groin), C Jake Grove (calf), WR Javon Walker (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE
WR Chaz Schilens (ankle), QB Andrew Walter (ankle)

PROBABLE
DE Derrick Burgess (tricep), T Mario Henderson (back), CB Chris Johnson (knee), RB Darren McFadden (toe), QB JaMarcus Russell (knee, ankle)

Broncos

OUT
TE Nate Jackson (hamstring), S Marlon McCree (ankle), LB Nate Webster (knee), LB D.J. Williams (knee)

DOUBTFUL
RB Selvin Young (groin)

QUESTIONABLE

CB Champ Bailey (groin)

PROBABLE
RB Peyton Hillis (shoulder), WR Brandon Marshall (hip), RB P.J. Pope (ribs), DT Dewayne Robertson (knees), TE Tony Scheffler (groin), DT Josh Shaw (toe, finger), LB Jamie Winborn (ribs)

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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