O'Neal, Carter likely done for the year

Lane Kiffin spent much of the preseason thankful the Raiders had been able to avoid serious injuries. That all changed Saturday night against Arizona when fullback Oren O'Neal and wide receiver Drew Carter suffered what are likely season-ending injuries.

O'Neal injured his left knee on the first play of the game while covering a kickoff while Carter was hurt four plays later after a catching a short pass from quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Both men had to be helped off the field and afterward head coach Lane Kiffin said both are likely out for the season.

"It's the last thing you want to have happen in a preseason game, especially that early," Kiffin said. "For that to happen right way wasn't a very good sign … so not a very good day. We lost two significant parts of what our offense hoped to be."

If both are indeed lost for the entire 2008 season it would be a significant blow to Oakland's offense. O'Neal split time with starter Justin Griffith last year and the team was counting on him to play a significant role again this year. Carter, meanwhile, was tabbed to be the Raiders' No. 2 receiver but instead is facing surgery after injuring the ACL in his left knee.

Instead both men likely won't play football against until next offseason, though O'Neal is holding out hope he can return this year. But he admits the timing couldn't be tougher with the season-opener only a few weeks away.

"It's super bad," O'Neal said of his disappointment while sitting in front of his locker with his foot propped up on a nearby chair, a pair of crutches in his hand. "Monday Night Football's coming up. Maybe it's just a bad sprain. We'll find out tomorrow."

O'Neal is scheduled to undergo an MRI test on Sunday to determine the extent of his injury.

"Drew's is an ACL," Kiffin said. "We're not sure about O'Neal's but it doesn't look good."

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