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OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 23: Defensive back Stanford Routt #26 of the Oakland Raiders runs into a referee after intercepting a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game on August 23, 2008 at the McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Greg Trott/Getty Images)
There's welcome news for Raiders fans frustrated with the toothless performance of Oakland's three-headed rushing attack. The anchor of the Raiders' offensive line, left guard Robert Gallery, returned to practice this week after a five-week recovery from a broken leg.
Gallery didn't work with the first team, Jerry McDonald reports in the Oakland Tribune, and it's uncertain whether Gallery could actually play today against the Chargers. He's missed five games since breaking his leg in the Raiders' September 20 win over the Chiefs.
Coach Tom Cable has been playing crazy musical chairs at Gallery's position, and all across the Raiders' offensive line. He may still have to do so against the Chargers. "We'll just try to build up from that," Cable told the San Jose Mercury News, "We'll see how he is."
Meanwhile, the other hurt Raider whom we could sure use back continues to be questionable. "WR Chaz Schilens not practicing today," the Chronicle's David White tweets from Wednesday Raiders practice, "still questionable 10 weeks after foot surgery."
Having both back in San Diego would be great, but after getting burned on thinking Scilens would be back last week, I'm not expecting either back until after the bye week.
Murphy Questionable for Today's Game.
Something rarely mentioned in the whole Michael Crabtree vs. Darrius Heyward-Bey debate is that niether receiver has been as productive as Raiders' diamond in the rough fourt-round pick, rookie Louis Murphy.
Murphy has stepped up during Chaz Schilens' absence, and is now the Raiders' leading receiver. In fact, David White points out in the Chronicle that Murphy has more catches and yards than all other Raiders receivers combined.
Now the Raiders may be about to lose Murphy, too. Dispatches from Raiders practices in the Oakland Tribune tell us that Murphy's hip is acting up, and he wasn't able to complete practice Thursday. His status is questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers.
The latest from Raiders Friday morning practice isn't encouraging. Jerry McDonald writes on his Oakland Tribune blog that Murphy "was going through drillwork gingerly and at halfspeed with the wide receivers."
So in addition to the Raiders already missing their top receiver Schilens, they may also be down their top replacement for their top receiver. It's rough going for the Raiders' diamond in the rough.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who tempers this bad news with the knowledge that it is Halloween weekend for NFL cheerleaders.
Joe Kukura who blames the Chaz Schilens thing on some stupid press release he read.