DUNN NO LONGER PUNT RETURNER

David Dunn has lost his job as the Raiders punt returner and might end up losing his roster spot altogether after his muffed punt return Sunday cost Oakland a chance to beat the Arizona Cardinals.

Dunn, who has spent the past two seasons with the Raiders, was stripped of his return duties on Monday by head coach Jon Gruden.

 ''We'll make that decision here in the next couple of days in terms of where we go,'' said Gruden, when asked about Dunn's status with the team. ''We're going to look elsewhere in terms of the return aspect of the punting game.''

The Raiders made several gaffes against Arizona but none was bigger or loomed larger than Dunn's fumbled punt return in overtime. The turnover, deep inside Oakland territory, set up Bill Gramatica's game-winning field goal for the Cardinals and handed the Raiders only their third loss of the season. Dunn, who handled both punt and kickoff return jobs for Oakland last season, had already been replaced on the kickoff return unit by Terry Kirby. Dunn is also buried on the Raiders' depth chart at wide receiver.

Having now lost both of his return jobs could make Dunn expendable should Oakland need a roster spot. In the meantime Gruden said Oakland will turn to Tim Brown to handle the punt return chores. Gruden also said that Charles Woodson would be the primary candidate to handle the job once his turf toe injury improves.

''Woodson would have been option No. 1, the primo candidate A, the top shelf ... had he not got this doggone turf toe against Denver,'' said Gruden. ''As soon as the life or the blood starts clicking in that toe, you will see No. 24 returning punts for us.''

NOTES -- Fullback Jon Ritchie is expected to miss 1-2 weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in the loss to Arizona. Ritchie will definitely sit out this week's game against Kansas City, according to Gruden, and might also be held out of Oakland's game in San Diego on Dec. 15 ... Right guard Mo Collins aggravated his right leg injury and won't practice this week ... Gruden said he had not yet spoken with defensive tackle Darrell Russell regarding reports that Russell will be suspended for a year for a third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.


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