Injuries forcing Raiders to shake up roster

The Raiders won't have an easy time paring down their roster to the 53-man limit in time for the Sunday's 1 p.m. deadline. Injuries to linebacker Bill Romanowski, punter Shane Lechler, tight end Jeremy Brigham have thrown a kink into Oakland's plans and could force the team into a corner.

Romanowski sat out the Raiders' final two preseason games with back spasms and there's word from inside the organization that the veteran outside linebacker might be forced to miss the season-opener against Seattle a week from Sunday. That qualifies for major news, seeing as Romanowski has never missed a game in 14 NFL seasons.

Romanowski's situation might force Oakland to keep middle linebacker Greg Biekert, who earlier this week was told by team officials to either accept a $1.5 million pay cut or face being released. But according to a source with the team, the Raiders have backed off on their ultimatum to Biekert because they fear Romanowski might be sidelined with his back injury longer than originally expected.

Lechler's leg injury all but guarantees Michael Stemke a spot on the roster, at least for the first few weeks of the regular season. Having to carry two punters on the 53-man roster means Oakland will have to release a player they might have hoped to keep to make room for the two punters.

Brigham's leg injury opened the door for rookie Doug Jolley and also likely means the Raiders will keep Mondriel Fulcher. All three were battling for the back-up job behind starter Roland Williams.

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