Raiders sign Reggie Toungue

With their injury-depleted secondary running short on available bodies, the Raiders signed veteran safety Reggie Tongue on Wednesday. While Tongue probably won't play this week against his former team, Kansas City, his signing gives Oakland some much-needed experience and depth in the defensive backfield.

Tongue had 71 tackles in 16 games for the New York Jets last season but was released in June. Tongue did not latch on with another team and spent the first two months of the season working out in anticipation of returning to the NFL.

The Raiders didn't come calling until last week after they placed strong safety Derrick Gibson on injured reserve with a dislocated wrist. Oakland is also without cornerback/safety Charles Woodson, who is sidelined until December with a broken leg.

By signing Tongue, who has played nine years in the NFL, the Raiders regain a large chuck of the experience they lost due to the injuries to Gibson and Woodson.

''He looks like he's in pretty good shape,'' Oakland coach Norv Turner said. ''We'll just evaluate it as we go on. The biggest thing is to get him here and watch him the next three or four days. We'll see where he is from a conditioning standpoint, his movement and all those things.''

Tongue was a second-round draft pick in 1996 who played four seasons in Kansas City. Tongue played another four years in Seattle before joining the Jets prior to the 2004 regular season.

In nine seasons, the 6'0'', 205-pound Tongue has 15 career interceptions, 9.5 sacks and 678 tackles while playing in 141 games. His best season came in 2002 when Tongue made 105 tackles and intercepted five passes.

''He's a good cover guy,'' Turner said. ''We obviously have a stretch of very good tight ends we have to play for the next couple of months. (Tongue is) a bigger guy that can cover in there. There aren't a lot of guys out there. He was out there and he has played.''

NOTES

* To make room for Tongue, the Raiders released safety Calvin Branch.

* Wide receiver Randy Moss did not practice Wednesday but is expected to be back in workouts Thursday.

* Center Jake Grove worked out in practice but did not take part in the entire workout. Turner said he expects to use the same offensive line against Kansas City that the Raiders had against Tennessee. That means Grove on the sidelines with Adam Treu starting at center and Brad Badger working at left guard.

* Defensive end Bobby Hamilton did not practice Wednesday but the Raiders are holding out hope he can play in Kansas City. Hamilton injured his left ankle in the win over Tennessee. Though he was walking with a serious limp Monday, Hamilton looked better Wednesday though his playing status is still listed as questionable. ''Obviously (Kansas City) is a very, very good running team so we need to have bigger guys in there,'' Turner said. ''It would be big if Bobby's all right at the end of the week.''


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