Richardson may start for Burgess

The Raiders are leaning toward starting rookie defensive end Jay Richardson against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as a result of Derrick Burgess' injury.

Burgess, Oakland's Pro Bowl defensive end, suffered a calf injury during the second half of Oakland's loss to Denver last week and did not return. Burgess was held out of practice Wednesday and declined to speak to reporters about his situation.

While head coach Lane Kiffin said the team is exploring other options, it appears for now the Raiders will go with Richardson if Burgess is unavailable.

"Jay will play a lot most likely," Kiffin said. "We could put Tyler (Brayton) out there as well. It depends. You've got to have a feeling that if we're not getting a rush over there, if other guys aren't stepping up more, then you've got to go to more pressures and you've got to be more risky."

Losing Burgess for however long he may be out would be a definite blow to an Oakland defense that has had its share of problems in the first two games. The Raiders have just four sacks this season and only two from defensive lineman -- end Chris Clemons and tackle Gerard Warren.

Richardson, a fifth-round draft pick, filled in when Burgess went down against the Broncos and had three tackles and a tipped pass. That came after a promising preseason in which the rookie played so well that the Raiders decided to cut third-round pick Quentin Moses in one of the more surprising roster moves.

"I guess that just told me how much they think of me and that they believe in me," Richardson said Wednesday. "As a rookie, you're always struggling to kind of find where you fit in, and to almost -- before you prove it to the team -- prove it to yourself, that you belong."


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