Raiders lose Ashmore for the season

The Raiders will be without offensive linemen Darryl Ashmore for the entire 2002 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon in his left knee, head coach Bill Callahan announced Wednesday.

Ashmore, Oakland's back-up right tackle and arguably the team's most versatile veteran lineman, was injured during Tuesday morning's practice while blocking in a 9-on-7 passing drill. Lincoln Kennedy, the Raiders starting right guard, was hurt one play prior to Ashmore but his injury was not as severe and was diagnosed as a hyperextended knee.

At 6 feet, 7 inches and 310 pounds, Ashmore is one of the largest members of Oakland's offensive line and has been a quality back-up since signing with the team in 1998. Though he started just seven games with the Raiders, Ashmore was a valuable member of the offensive line because of his ability to play both guard and tackle with equally adept skills.

''He's a quality individual and he's given us good play over the years,'' said Callahan. ''He's been a solid guy. He brings great leadership to our team and he will be missed.''

Ashmore's injury creates a problem of sorts for the Raiders. Kennedy, who was plagued by a troublesome shoulder problem last year, now has a sore knee to contend with. And with Ashmore looking at a six-month rehabillitation and an extended stay on injured resere, Oakland's depth is questionable.

Veteran Brad Badger was picked up in the offseason and has 34 starts in five NFL seasons, though most of them came on the left side of the line. The team will also experiment with Joe Wong, a 1999 seventh-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins.

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