Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 7, 2008
Russell's knee makes him questionable

ALAMEDA - Here's who is in and likely out for Sunday's game:

TE Tony Stewart (calf) questionable
RB Darren McFadden (left toe) questionable
QB JaMarcus Russell (knee) questionable
DE Derrick Burgess (triceps) doubtful
LB Ricky Brown (groin) doubtful
S Gibril Wilson (groin) questionable

LB Jon Alston (foot) probable
Andrew Walter (calf) probable
Gerard Warren (knee) probable
Michael Huff (hip) probable

Walter would start if Russell does not play.

Walter finished practice up for Russell yesterday and ran the first-team offense today.

"I'll be ready, but I couldn't tell you," Walter said of possibly starting. "I couldn't tell you anything more about JaMarcus' health. I know they're playing it close to the vest, but that includes me too. I can't really add how he's doing. If he can go, he'll go. I'll just be a pro and, game-time decision."

Cable said the team was just being smart by sitting Russell out today.

"He's got a little tendonitis, I guess," Cable said. "So it's just kind of, it's been there, had it in college, but it's acting up a little bit."

I joined a couple of reporters that waited about an hour for Russell to ask about the knee. He never showed. Nor did he speak on Wednesday as every other starting quarterback does.

Walter's last start was in place of injured starter Aaron Brooks CQ, Dec. 23, 2006 against Kansas City.

He appeared in one game last year for garbage time of a 38-7 loss at Green Bay, Dec. 9, 2007.

Walter was the quarterback of the future in 2006. Then he became a human piñata, being sacked 46 times in 12 games that included eight starts.

He's actually played well in the preseason most of the last two years. But even though Lane Kiffin would later admit he'd outplayed Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper in practices last year during training camp, Walter wasn't given a chance to start.

And once Russell was deemed ready to play, Walter was the fourth quarterback and not dressing for games when the other three were healthy.

"Preseason, you might not be going against other team's first string," Walter said. "Sometimes you are, sometimes you're not. But preseasons have been good the last two years. Obviously the regular season is what it is. I mean, I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be able to play and help the team out."

McFadden, like Russell, will be a gameday decision. He'd been limited in practice the last two days before sitting out today.

Cable said McFadden's toe is getting better.

*Props to Raiders fullback Justin Griffith.

Even though he's a week removed from knee surgery and using crutches to get around, he took the time out to host students from Dewey Academy in Oakland at team headquarters today.

*The Raiders have one touchdown in 48 first-half possessions.

And there's some interesting stats / on how the Raiders have done on offense under Cable at

As a whole, the offense is worse under Cable than it was when Lane Kiffin was calling the plays.

Not that the Raiders were putting up a ton of points under Kiffin but the Raiders are averaging 7.3 points under Cable after getting 19.5 a game under Kiffin.

The bottom line is both coaches were 1-3 after four games.

--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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