Injuries piling up in Oakland
The Raiders are doing well on the field but it's in the training room where the team is losing the battle. Defensive end Trace Armstrong was the latest casualty after rupturing his Achilles tendon in his right foot during Oakland's 38-14 win over Seattle last Sunday. Armstrong's season is finished and he will be put on the injured reserve list in the next few days. When he is placed on the IR, Armstrong will join center Barret Robbins, who injured his right knee against Miami and subsequently underwent season-ending surgery. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. Defensive tackle Grady Jackson re-injured his right shoulder, the same one that he had offseason surgery on, while Oakland's other starting defensive tackle, Rod Coleman, injured a hamstring. Both men are questionable to play this week against Dallas. Right tackle Lincoln Kennedy is nursing a very sore right shoulder that appears to be more serious than team officials are letting on. Right guard Mo Collins limped his way through the Raiders' locker room Monday after injuring a calf muscle. Back-up quarterback Bobby Hoying has a strained ligament in his right (throwing) elbow, while tight end Roland Williams has an injured ankle. ‘'We're dropping like flies,'' Jackson said. The injuries put the Raiders in a very precarious situation, particularly along the defensive line. Overflowing with talent and depth during training camp, Oakland's defensive line has quickly been depleted of both. With two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darrell Russell still a week away from returning to the team, the Raiders will likely have to go outside the organization for help if the injuries to Coleman and Jackson keep them out of the Dallas game. Rookie Chris Cooper has turned some heads and might get elevated to a starting position against the Cowboys. Fellow rookie DeLawrence Grant, inactive the first three games, could also see playing time against Dallas. Oakland also has second-year defensive lineman Junior Ioane to lean on as well. ‘'We've lost some quality big people here, no question about it,'' said head coach Jon Gruden on Monday. ‘'We're going to let it sort itself out in the next 48 hours and see what happens. But we do know that we are in a situation right now where we're going to have to rally around some young players.'' The Raiders are said to be interested in defensive lineman Darren Mickell, who was with the team in training camp. Nose guard Russell Maryland, who played for the Raiders prior to Gruden's arrival in 1998, is also available but will probably be seeking a deal too expensive for the Raiders' taste.
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