CHIEFS PLAYER NEWS: New Punter in Town

Punter Steve Cheek, whose 31.6-yard net punting average was the worst in the NFL this season, was released by the Chiefs on Tuesday and replaced with Nick Murphy, the leading punter in NFL Europe last spring.

Murphy will be getting his second live-action NFL tryout this year. He punted 18 times and averaged 43.2 yards gross and 36.6 net in three games with Baltimore earlier this year. His Ravens experience was his first in the NFL after he failed to make two training camp rosters with Minnesota in 2002 and '03 and with Philadelphia last summer. He averaged 41.7 yards gross and 33.4 net on 49 punts for the Scottish Claymores last spring.

WR/KR Dante Hall turned an ankle during Wednesday's practice and was limping noticeably afterward. Hall is expected to play against Oakland as a replacement starter for injured starter Johnnie Morton, but he may not be at full speed and may have to yield more time to youngsters such as Samie Parker.

RB Larry Johnson should get another busy day with fellow RB Derrick Blaylock expected to miss a second straight game with a knee injury. Johnson, in the most extensive action of his NFL career last week, rank 30 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Broncos.

GAME PLAN: - Kansas City had to rally in the fourth quarter to win a shootout in Oakland three weeks ago, and nobody expects anything less this time around. The Chiefs will establish the run with Johnson, lure an eighth defender into the box, try to make the Raiders keep two guys on Gonzalez and then look for the occasional home run ball, such as the 70-yarder to Eddie Kennison that produced the game winner in the final 125 seconds last time.

Defensively, Kansas City should try to give their corners lots of deep help to avoid the big plays the Raiders made in Oakland. Kansas City's upfront pressure against Denver was effective enough that they were able to disrupt Jake Plummer with only the occasional blitz. Blitzing won't work as well against Kerry Collins, who will find the single match-up and exploit it. Maximum coverage could be the key here.

Chiefs WR Eddie Kennison vs. Raiders CB Phillip Buchanon: Kansas City will see some chances against the league's 31st-ranked pass defense. Kennison burned the Raiders for 8-149 in Oakland, and with Charles Woodson hurting and his off-the field incident still fresh in the coaches mind, Buchanon will have to come up big here.

Raiders WR Jerry Porter vs. Chiefs CB Dexter McCleon and Eric Warfield: With Ronald Curry injured late in the first Chiefs game, Porter will have the same chances Curry did (9-141) against the NFL's worst pass defense.

RB Derrick Blaylock (knee) did not practice Wednesday and is not expected to be available to back up Larry Johnson.

WR Johnnie Morton (questionable, knee) did not work Wednesday and likely will miss a second straight game. Dante Hall will start in his place unless the ankle he twisted in practice Wednesday in too sore to go on, at which point the Chiefs will turn to rookie Samie Parker quickly.

RT Chris Bober (questionable, foot) did not work Wednesday and could miss a third straight game. Second-year man Jordan Black has played capably in his absence.

FS Jerome Woods (questionable, knee) may not play again in the final two games of the season with his slow-healing injury.

WR Chris Horn (questionable, knee) was able to work Wednesday and hopes to see some playing time in the absence of Johnnie Morton and a possible injury to Dante Hall. Top Stories