Russell anxious for season to start

Lane Kiffin might want another few weeks of the preseason to sort out the Raiders' roster but the Monday night season-opener against Denver can't come quick enough for quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

"We've been doing the preseason thing for a while," Russell said after practice Sunday. "Now it's the real deal. We had some new things that we put in … so we kind of got most of the looks last week. Right now we're just going to take it one day at a time and get the game plan ready."

Sunday marked the Raiders first practice since the team trimmed its roster down to the 53-player limit.

Kiffin, who during training camp said his team could use some more polishing, isn't so sure the roster will look the same way by the time Oakland settles in for the kickoff against the Broncos on Sept. 8. The Raiders are still looking for a backup to fullback Justin Griffith and would like to add some depth to its offensive line and wide receiving corps.

"That's the unfortunate thing about it, that's why we didn't have a big team meeting today or anything," Kiffin said. "We talked about, ‘When I see you guys next time, for the most part we'll have our final 53 and we'll talk about our plan for the season.' I would hope by our next practice we could have a second fullback."

Teams began adding players to their practice squad Sunday but the Raiders did not announce any roster moves.

Instead they held a practice that was more notable by who wasn't there than anything else.

Punter Shane Lechler was held out with a quad injury, as were cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) and Rashard Baker (ankle), linebacker Robert Thomas (knee), defensive end Kalimba Edwards (groin) and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (flu).

Kelly spent at least one night in a hospital after falling ill but Kiffin said he expects the veteran defensive lineman to be back at practice on Wednesday.

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall did not attend the workout and instead was with family to attend a funeral for his father. Safety Michael Huff was also excused from practice to attend a funeral for his grandfather.


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