Oakland Raiders' offensive line hit by injuries Print
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Thursday, 25 September 2008 13:44
NFL Headline News

 OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Oakland left tackle Kwame Harris' return to the practice field this week couldn't have come at a better time. With right guard Cooper Carlisle nursing a severely sprained ankle, the Raiders need all they healthy offensive linemen they can find.
Harris sat out the last two games after getting hurt in Oakland's season-opening loss to Denver. Initial concerns were that the 6-foot-7, 325-pound tackle might have seriously injured his left knee, but tests later revealed no significant damage.
After practicing with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday and Thursday, Harris reported no lingering pain and declared himself ready to play against San Diego this week.
``I would say he looks probably 90 percent out there, getting his feet back under him,'' Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said. ``I don't know that I could say he's going to be 100 percent but it's good to have him back.''
ority of its offense away from Henderson's side of the field.
With Harris back, the Raiders feel they can get back to running their full offense.
``I think that makes us all feel better,'' Kiffin said earlier this week.
Of more concern is the injury to Carlisle. The veteran guard has worn a protective boot on his left foot this week and limped into the locker room Thursday, his ankle significantly swollen and purple.
Carlisle was Oakland's least-penalized offensive lineman in 2007 and has started the last 55 games he's played in.
He has not practiced since last week, though Kiffin is hopeful Carlisle will be able to play against the Chargers.
``If there's any shot of him going, he's going to go because that's how tough he is,'' Kiffin said. ``We almost pulled him in the game last week and he talked me into staying in there. Most guys wouldn't have kept playing but he kept playing and that says a lot about him.''
Carlisle said he can play without practicing but won't go unless his ankle feels better.
``It's definitely not ideal,'' Carlisle said. ``If I could just get some of this swelling to go down, I'd be OK. Right now I'm just trying as hard as I can to get ready for San Diego.''
If Carlisle is unable to play, the Raiders will use Chris Morris at right guard. A backup center, Morris filled in when Carlisle briefly went out of the game against Buffalo last week and has been practicing with the starting offense this week.
Unlike when Henderson replaced Harris, the Raiders won't try to tailor their offense if Morris is forced to start instead of Carlisle.
``Part of you wants to do that, then you suffer a little bit,'' Kiffin said. ``Like anything in this league, you can get away with something for a little bit and then they catch on to you. With Chris, it's choose your poison because you say you'll run away from him but you're playing against a 3-4 defense and you have to cut off a Pro Bowl nose tackle. There are not a lot of good answers there as far as how to hide a backup against a defense like this.''
Notes: Defensive tackle Gerard Warren (pectoral muscle), cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (elbow), tight end Ben Troupe (foot) and running back Justin Fargas (groin) all were held out of practice. In addition, running back Darren McFadden (toe) was limited, cornerback Stanford Routt (ankle) was unable to finish practice and defensive end Derrick Burgess (torn triceps muscle) only participated in individual drills. ... Sunday's game against San Diego has sold out, according to a team representative.
 

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