Attack leaves Walker future in question

While the full details of the attack on Javon Walker have yet to be released, there are also questions over Walker's future in the NFL as a result of the injuries suffered.

According to police reports the veteran wide receiver was found unconscious on a Las Vegas street after being apparently beaten and robbed. Walker was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with, among other things, an orbital fracture.

It's the same injury that forced former Minnesota Twins All-Star center fielder Kirby Puckett to retire and the very similar to the injury suffered by Marcus Williams, the former Raider prospect who was injured in 2003 after being punched in the face by linebacker Bill Romanowski.

Puckett and Williams both suffered from blurred and double vision as a result of their respective injuries, which led both men to retire.

While it's still far too early to know the full extent of Walker's injury, it's clear the incident is a blow to the Raiders' offense.

Walker, who signed a $55 million, six-year deal that included a $16 million signing bonus with Oakland in the offseason, was penciled in at the top of the team's depth chart and one of the few wide receivers on the Raiders' roster with any legitimate NFL experience.

If Walker is out for any extended length of time, the timing between he and second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell will suffer greatly. Walker was already behind pace because the Raiders were taking a cautious approach with him due to his history of knee injuries.

Whether this was a random attack or whether Walker was targeted -- he reportedly was seen partying at two different nightclubs and allegedly sprayed some people with one of the 15 bottles of champagne he purchased -- is unknown.

But it's worth noting that where Walker was found -- near the intersection of Koval Lane and Winnick Ave. -- is only two blocks north of where rapper Tupac Shakur was slain.

The Raiders, for their part, aren't saying much other than to acknowledge they are gathering information about the incident, but that will change.

The team is holding its final series of OTAs this week and head coach Lane Kiffin is scheduled to address the media on Thursday when the topic of Walker's situation is sure to come up.


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