Morrison to sit out again

Kirk Morrison says he could play today if the regular season were to begin. It doesn't, so the Raiders middle linebacker will sit out Thursday's preseason finale against Seattle.

Oakland will once again be without middle linebacker Kirk Morrison, whose dislocated elbow is making progress but not enough to get the veteran defender back on the field just yet.

Morrison, who injured himself during the Raiders' preseason loss to San Francisco on Aug. 22, lightly practiced Monday for the first time since getting hurt. He did not take part in any team or hitting drills but worked out in the individual portions of practice.

"I didn't want to do too much out there but I just wanted to get out there and run around a little bit," Morrison told S&BI. "I'm a little ahead of pace but at the same time we're not going to rush me out there."

Morrison had been competing with Ricky Brown for the starting middle linebacker job. A defensive captain in 2008 and the team's leading tackler the past three seasons, Morrison started Oakland's first two preseason games and, according to Cable, had a slight edge on Brown in the battle for the starting gig before he was hurt.

Morrison did not play in the loss to New Orleans last week, a game in which the Raiders were thoroughly beaten 45-7 while the defense was a complete mess.

"It was tough," Morrison said. "That was the first time ever, pro, college, Pop Warner that I missed. Sitting on the sideline watching a game, that sucked. It wasn't fun, I'll tell you that, especially when you feel like you bring something to a team, to a defense. To not be out there, regardless if it's preseason or not, you want to be out there and you want to give your best. It was tough."

Cable said the Raiders missed Morrison in the loss to the Saints but added Oakland is taking a careful approach with the veteran linebacker.

"Sure he wants to be out there but we need to be smart with that right now," Cable said. "I just don't think it'd be wise to do it. He could play, definitely could."

When he returns, Morrison will try to help a run defense that has been terrible the entire preseason. The Raiders are giving up more than 211 yards a game on the ground through their first three preseason games.

"We just have to execute," Morrison said. "We played OK against Dallas but we saw what we can do. Then against San Francisco we didn't execute. They found a hole and kept hitting us with the same play. We fixed that at practice and then we came out (against New Orleans), they got up and we just never responded. We'll fix that stuff. It's just execution."

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