Raiders Notebook

Hopefully Phillip Buchanon's actions on the field will be louder than the words he speaks in the locker room. Keeping a long-standing self-imposed silence, Buchanon returned to the Raiders' practice field Saturday for the first time since injuring a hamstring on the opening day of training camp but refused to talk about it afterward. <BR><BR>

Buchanon, who played in only six games as a rookie before a broken wrist prematurely ended his 2002 season, fielded punts and took part in some defensive drills. Oakland's first-round draft pick a year ago, Buchanon remains questionable to play in the Raiders' season-opening game at Tennessee on Sept. 7.

''He did OK,'' said Oakland head coach Bill Callahan. ''We're just getting him acclimated to football movement, reaction. We didn't go that hard today. It's kind of hard to make that judgment. ''We just want to see where he's at, functioning within the system, how he's doing. During his rehabillitation process he's going through different cuts and such but it's different on the practice field.''

Buchanon's return would be a boost for Oakland's secondary but more importantly it would give the Raiders their top punt returner. Doug Gabriel and Willie Quinnie have been handling the punt returns during the preseason but both would relinquish the duties once Buchanon is totally cleared.

He's not the only player Oakland is eager to get back. Running back Charlie Garner, who sat out the Raiders' final two preseason games with a knee injury, is expected back on the field Monday. Wide receiver Jerry Porter (abdominal strain), punter Shane Lechler (groin), tight end Doug Jolley (ankle sprain) rookie cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (shoulder) and wide receiver Ronald Curry (left hip flexor) all practiced Saturday and should be ready to play against the Titans.

The news on Asomugha was encouraging. He was knocked out of the preseason game against Dallas after a collision with Cowboys running Erik Bickerstaff in the third quarter. Asomugha's hit jarred the ball away from Bickerstaff for an incomplete pass but Asomugha wound up getting the worst of things as he slowly left the field favoring his shoulder. It's the same shoulder that Asomugha injured on the first day of hitting in training camp when he collided with rookie wide receiver Doug Gabriel, a play that sidelined the first-round draft pick for most of camp.

''He's a tough kid and he's going to battle through it,'' Callahan said. ''We need him this year.''

NOTES: With less than 24 hours left before rosters must be trimmed to the regular-season limit of 53 players, the Raiders moved toward achieving that goal by releasing linebacker Jamal White, tight end Ryan Prince and kicker Joe O'Donnell. The team also reached injury settlements with offensive linemen Corey Hulsey and Corey Parchman, leaving Oakland having to trim 15 more players by 1 p.m. Sunday.

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