The Word on Woodsen

Charles Woodson, who suffered a broken shoulder in Week 2, was listed as doubtful Wednesday to face the San Diego Chargers. He hasn't played or practiced with the Raiders since breaking his shoulder in the second quarter of Oakland's win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 15. As of Wednesday there was speculation he would play this weekend.

"I don't think he'll play, but there is still an outside chance," coach Bill Callahan said. "We're just going to see how it plays out the rest of the week."

Woodson worked out with trainers and watched practice but did not participated.

"He's making progress," Callahan said. "I think it's a matter of getting that shoulder stronger so he can take on contact."

Thursday morning, the Raiders upgraded Woodson's health status from doubtful to questionable. That seemed reasonable given coach Callahan's comments.

On Thursday in San Diego newspapers, the news came out that cornerback Charles Woodson was upgraded to questionable. How exactly did San Diego find out about that before the Bay area papers and before it was reported by Callahan? Coach Schottenheimer has to have the Woodsen factor in his gameplan, no?

After practice Thursday, Callahan reiterated that Woodson was questionable. Puzzled glances ensued when Callahan said Woodson had not practiced that day with the team. Why, then, was he upgraded?

``As long as that shoulder's strong enough, he's conditioned enough and with the coverage that we play, man-to-man, we'd feel very positive that we could put him on the field and that he could play a full game,'' Callahan said.

Callahan also stated Woodson wouldn't play if he couldn't start. Those statements were made at 3:30 p.m. But the story doesn't end there. At 6:15 p.m., an e-mail went out from the Raiders' offices saying Woodson had been upgraded to probable. Now that is a fast healer. He went from doubtful to probable in one 12-hour period. At around 5:15 p.m., the public-relations staff had been informed by the coach that yet another upgrade had taken place involving Woodson.

Sounds like a logical nightmare for Schottenheimer. Is this the old bait routine, where he plans for Woodsen, only to have him not play. The key here lies in the stats that follow, and then you may see why it really is a potential mess in coach Schottenheimer's mind.

In the beginning of the year when 4 time Pro Bowler Woodson was healthy, the Raiders allowed only 178 yards passing per game, now they are 29th in the league defending the pass allowing 258.8 yards per game. A big swing from earlier in the season.

Woodson has been bothered by injuries in the past two seasons. Last year, he did not practice with the Raiders over the final two months of the season battling turf-toe.

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