Raiders to be cautious with Lechler's injury

The injury situation with Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler does not appear to enormously serious. Head coach Norv Turner, however, added that the team will approach his slight hamstring sprain sustained in Saturday's 21-13 exhibition loss to the San Francisco 49ers with caution.

Early in the second quarter, the Oakland Raiders two-time Pro Bowl punter fielded Kenny Smith's snap, which was a little high. San Francisco's Keith Lewis broke free over the right side. Lechler then pulled the ball down and ran to his right before 49er linebacker Saleem Rasheed grazed just enough of Lechler's leg to cause the punter to stagger shy of the first down marker.

Lechler did not appear to be injured as he walked of the field but backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo replaced Lechler as the holder on Sebastian Janikowski's field-goal attempt later in the game and Gary Cook replaced Lechler the next time the Raiders punted.

Turner, who spoke to reporters via conference call Sunday evening, said that Lechler's hamstring injury does not seem to be vital and the team would make a further decision on his status Wednesday. Turner, however, added that he does not expect Lechler to play when the Raiders visit Houston on Saturday.

Cook was brought in for training camp more so to give Lechler and Janikowski an occasional breather. Cook, however, shined in his lone punting opportunities, downing three inside the San Francisco 20, two inside the five.

"He had some big-time kicks," Turner said. "I think being around Shane has helped him."

In other news on the injury front, backup center/longsnapper Adam Treu has missed the last week-plus of practice due to a calf injury. Turner said that Treu will return on a limited basis this week and is likely to suit up against Houston.

Clancy released from hospital

Defensive line coach Sam Clancy was released from the hospital Sunday morning after fainting on the Raiders sideline Saturday night.

This marks the second medical issue the Raiders have encountered with Clancy, who went to the hospital after suffering heart palpitations at practice last season. The question then becomes: how closely do the Raiders monitor Clancy's health?

"I think it's pretty much a doctor thing," Turner said. "The plan was to have Sam in the pressbox. We will have him in the pressbox from now on. Their pressbox is so small."

Candlestick Park, which opened in 1960 and has been the 49ers home venue since 1971, is one of the older playing venues among professional sports teams.

Goal-to-go

On the game's opening series, the Raiders faced a fourth-and-goal at the San Francisco 2-yard line. That scenario seemed like an ideal time, since both first-units were on the field, to test the goal-line offense on fourth down since it was an exhibition game.

"We thought it was from further out," Turner said. "But people don't do the same things in a preseason game that they would do in a regular game. There's a reason you do it but there's a lot of different things you'll see on fourth-and-three."

Here's Johnnie

Second-year wide receiver Johnnie Morant has drawn his share of the coaching staff's ire during the course of training camp. Morant, however, shined Saturday against the 49ers in hauling in four passes for 76 yards.

"Johnnie Morant has really come on in the last four or five days of practice," Turner said. "It's a game of momentum and if you start playing like that you can gain confidence."

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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