Raiders training camp notebook

It wasn't a good day to be a running back for the Raiders. Dominic Rhodes injured his foot and left the field Tuesday before practice began and ReShard Lee hurt his right knee after getting tackled and had to be helped into the trainers room.

With LaMont Jordan already sidelined with lower back pains and Michael Bush on the PUP list, Oakland's backfield thinned out considerably.

Justin Fargas and Joe Echemandu split time with the first-team offense as a result and both had their moments in practice. Fargas, who a day earlier dropped a wide open pass, ran well and showed off flashes of his speed, while Echemandu continued to be the most impressive cut-back runner the team has. Twice he juked defenders and made them miss badly during non-takedown drills.

Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said none of the injured players appeared to be seriously hurt. Rhodes walked off the field on his power and is expected to return within a few days, and though Lee went down under a pile of players on a power sweep, Kiffin is confident he'll be back on the field soon as well.

The running backs weren't the only ones getting hurt. Defensive back Stanford Routt did not practice, either, and was seen walking gingerly around the team's facilities. Left tackle Barry Sims was also held out of practice for minor pains.

Clemons making waves:

Chris Clemons is listed on the Raiders roster as a linebacker but he's making quite an impression at defensive end and on special teams. With Derrick Burgess recovering from offseason hernia surgery, Oakland has been using a rotation of players in his absence. Clemons, a 6-foot-3, 240-pounder from Georgia, has been lining up at left end when the Raiders go into their nickel package. Clemons was also on the team's starting kickoff unit during Tuesday's workout.

Ward keeps picking ‘em:

B.J. Ward continues to make a strong case to be on the 53-man roster. He added two more interceptions Tuesday, giving him five in camp so far. Ward also made a nice play to strip a receiver of the ball after it was in his arms. It's still too early to tell if Ward has a legitimate shot but if he keeps it up, he's going to make it hard for the Raiders to cut him.

Let's get ready to rumble:

After a few minor dust-ups, the Raiders finally had their first big brawl of training camp when center Jeremy Newberry and defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne hooked up. Hawthorne seemed to initiate things and tempers quickly flared, with Newberry landing several left uppercuts before the two were separated.

Bad day for QBs:

Josh McCown and Andrew Walter haven't been overly impressive during the first week of training camp, which is one of the reasons the team signed free agent Daunte Culpepper. McCown has had one day without throwing an interception so far; he was picked by Ward during a team scrimmage. Walter, who is coming off arthroscopic knee surgery, has also struggled, though the interception he threw was hardly his fault. Linebacker Kirk Morrison made a great play to come over the left shoulder of Justin Griffith and take the ball away from the veteran fullback on a short pass into the left flat.

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