Hasty changes tunes, calls it quits again

James Hasty's decision to walk away from football wasn't a major blow to the Raiders but it did leave them in somewhat of a bind nonetheless as they prepared for a cross-country flight to play the New York Giants. With a turf-toe injury keeping cornerback Charles Woodson out of practice all week, Oakland heads into Sunday's game with a suspect secondary.

Hasty, who signed with the Raiders only two weeks ago, reportedly first spoke with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden on Monday about stepping away from football before reaching the final conclusion. According to Gruden, Hasty was already back at his home in Seattle when Oakland held its first practice this week on Wednesday. ''Obviously we're disappointed but we wish him well and we'll move on,'' said Gruden. ''It's his decision and a decision we'll live with.'' The Raiders had hoped that Hasty would provide some depth and insurance for Woodson, whose turf-toe injury has prevented the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback from practicing for the last week. Woodson played in Oakland's win over San Diego but his status remains questionable to play this week against the Giants. Hasty's decision to leave the Raiders opened up a roster spot on the team's active roster. Gruden indicated the team was already looking for help and said he expected Oakland to sign someone before departing for New York on Friday. The Raiders have a limited number of options on their current roster. Nickel back Tory James took the majority of reps in practice Wednesday while Woodson rested on the sidelines. If Woodson is limited or cannot play at all against the Giants, James is the logical choice to start in his sted. Beyond James, however, the Raiders have virtually no help. Brandon James is the only other cornerback the team has but he's on the practice squad and has never played on defense in an NFL regular season game. Safeties Marquez Pope and Johnnie Harris have both played cornerback in their careers. Harris, in fact, replaces Eric Allen in the lineup when the Raiders go to their run defense. NOTES: Wide receiver Tim Brown was a late arrival to the team's facilities on Wednesday after flying to Dallas to be with his father, who underwent angioplasty surgery. ''I have quite a bit to be thankful for right now,'' Brown said. ''(The holiday) couldn't come at a better time for me.'' ... Quarterback Rich Gannon says the Raiders offense has its hands full with Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, whose 15 sacks lead the NFL. ''I think he's a beast,'' Gannon said. ''He reminds me a great deal of Reggie White. I see what he does to some tackles in the league. I don't want to say it's embarrasing, but it's pretty impressive. To take a guy who's 340 pounds, and with one arm throw him on the ground ... it's not something you see every day in films.'' Oakland right tackle Lincoln Kennedy draws the unlocky lot of being the man who has to square off against Strahan for most of Sunday's game ... Running back Tyrone Wheatley continues to move closer to returning to the Raiders lineup after another solid day of practice Wednesday. Left tackle Barry Sims also practiced but his status is uncertain.

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