Injuries decimate Raiders' roster

LaMont Jordan probably won't play in Saturday's preseason opener against Arizona while he rests his sore back, but he won't be the only player out. Injuries continue to take their toll on the Raiders and are testing the team's depth chart.

Jordan has only practiced sporadically since injuring his lower back during the first week of camp. He did not practice Tuesday, the fourth straight day he's been held out.

"I believe if we had to play tonight, he could play, but we don't play a game that matters right now," Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said. "We're doing the best thing for his body and making sure that we don't turn it into something more than what it is."

Dominic Rhodes and Justin Fargas have taken the majority of reps with Oakland's first offense while Jordan has been out. Joe Echemandu has also gotten work in with the starters and has been impressive.

Injuries are having an effect elsewhere on the roster as well. Veteran tight end O.J. Santiago was signed and practiced with the team Tuesday after Fred Wakefield suffered what appeared to be a serious injury to his right knee in Monday's workout. Kiffin indicated Wakefield will likely be placed on injured reserve.

Defensive end Derrick Burgess took part in a team drill for the first time since training camp began but the Raiders might hold him out of the Arizona game as a precaution. Burgess had hernia surgery in the offseason and has spent the first two weeks of camp doing conditioning work.

Defensive lineman Tyler Brayton also may miss the Cardinals game. He has been nursing a sore elbow and did not practice Monday or Tuesday.

* Doug Gabriel is getting time in as a kickoff returner but he didn't help his cause when he let a kick go off his chest and through his hands with no resistance during one return. Gabriel, who is fourth on the depth chart at wide receiver, needs to make something happen on special teams or his roster spot will be in jeopardy. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha also returned kickoffs in practice Tuesday but laughed it off later and said he was just doing it for fun.

* Right guard Cooper Carlisle was given the day off by Kiffin. Second-year player Kevin Boothe worked with the starting unit in Carlisle's place.

* Safety Stuart Schweigert, who has been criticized in the past for not being physical enough and taking bad angles, made the play of the day when he broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Jerry Porter.


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