Raiders Dust Off Old-Timer for 49ers Showdown

With all the preseason hype about the Oakland Raiders' new quarterback and new sackmaster and new Raiderette calendar, it's easy to forget that the Raiders' 2009 cult hero is still on the roster.

Yes, Bruce Gradkowski is still an Oakland Raider. You just haven't seen him take a snap yet, as he's been shelved throughout the preseason with a pectoral injury.

That changes Saturday night when the Raiders take on the San Francisco 49ers for the third preseason game. "Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will see considerable action in the last two preseason games," Steve Corkran writes in the Oakland Tribune, "Although (Coach Tom) Cable would not commit as to whether he would go in as No. 2 or No. 3."

Meaning that the Great Gradkowski is not assured the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Jason Campbell. Backup Kyle Boller has one touchdown, no interceptions, and a 93.5 rating as Campbell's primary backup in the two exhibition games thus far.

Gradkowski provided the Raiders with their few highlights in the 2009 season. His three-touchdown comeback against the Steelers in Week 13 earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

As Raider luck would have it, Gradkowski tore an MCL against the Redskins in the very next game.

Saturday will be Gradkowski's first game action since the MCL injury last December 13.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wants to see how Gradkowski's arm looks this year before committing to the "shaved head and eyeblack" look.

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