Team not sure how long Randy Moss will be out

Randy Moss is likely to miss Sunday's game against Buffalo but the Raiders aren't exactly sure how long they'll be without their top wide receiver. Moss, nursing a triad of injuries suffered in last week's loss to San Diego, did not practice Wednesday and is listed as doubtful on Oakland's injury report.

Moss was hurt while going up for a deep pass from quarterback Kerry Collins in the first quarter against San Diego. Initial indications were that he had bruised ribs, but further tests revealed a pelvic bruise and groin strain in addition to the rib injury.

''He's doubtful. That's the way he's listed and we'll see each day,'' Oakland coach Norv Turner said Wednesday. ''If he recovers and can run full speed, we'd love to have him. Again, he's listed doubtful for the game which means there's a slight chance he plays.''

If Moss cannot play against Buffalo, Turner said the team would activate either Johnnie Morant or Carlos Francis, both second-year players who have been inactive through the first five games.

Collins, who saw his streak of 150 consecutive passes without an interception come to an end in the loss to the Chargers, said the rest of Oakland's offense must pick up the slack with Moss gone.

''With Randy, we have our plays every week where we try to get him the ball,'' Collins said. ''I don't know if it will change too much. I think whoever steps in for him will do a good job, whether it'll be (Jerry Porter) or Alvis (Whitted) or Doug Gabriel. I don't have a clue about what's going on with Randy. If he's not in, the thing rolls on.''

Even with Moss, the Raiders offense has failed to generate much success.

Oakland ranks dead last in the AFC in rushing and is 31st overall, averaging just 70.6 yards a game, more than a full 10 yards behind the dubious pace the Raiders set a year ago when they owned the NFL's worst rushing attack.

Despite the addition of running back LaMont Jordan, Oakland's running game has been non-existent in the team's four losses. In the Raiders' lone win, a 19-13 victory over Dallas on Oct. 2, Jordan ran 26 times for 126 yards but beyond that has just 184 yards on 61 attempts.

Earlier this week Jordan and Turner both lamented the lack of production from the running game. Jordan was adamant that the Raiders need to run the ball more for the ground game to be effective and lobbied for Turner to ''put the offense on my shoulders and let's go.''

Collins agreed that Oakland must get the running game on track for the rest of the offense to fall into place but added that Jordan shouldn't shoulder the blame for the Raiders' lack of success on the ground.

''He doesn't need to put that kind of pressure on himself,'' Collins said. ''It's admirable but at the same time there's 10 other guys on the field with him. We all need to pull our own weight. This is a team thing and it never goes down on one person's shoulders. It's never always my fault, it's never always his fault. It's a team thing and when you don't have some success and you lose a game, it's easy to think the way he thinks. But we've got to keep perspective on this thing, as well.

''It would definitely be nice, take some pressure off the passing game, take some pressure off the guys up front. We were encouraged by what happened in the Dallas game and I don't see any reason why we can't be that effective running the ball.''

NOTES

* The Raiders finally got around to placing wide receiver Ronald Curry on injured reserve after Curry tore his Achilles tendon for the second consecutive season. Curry was hurt on Sept. 18 and underwent surgery in North Carolina two weeks ago. Oakland filled his vacant roster spot by signing safety Calvin Branch, who was with the team from 1997-2000 and who spent preseason with the Raiders this year.

* Despite returning to practice in a limited fashion, center Jake Grove remains doubtful to play against Buffalo.

* Fullback John Paul Foschi, out since Week 2 with a knee injury, has been upgraded to probable and could be activated against the Bills.


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