By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 2:31 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Nnamdi Asomugha left no room for gray areas.
The Raiders’ Pro Bowl cornerback and best defensive player vowed he would play when they host the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 14.
Diagnosed with a chip fracture with cartilage damage, Asomugha said there will be no surgery.
“(The doctor) said that there was a fracture and some cartilage damage,” Asomugha said. “Said that it would in the normal world be like six weeks in a cast.”
The NFL, of course, is about as far from the normal world as you can get when it comes to athletes and injuries. Asomugha will probably end up playing in a soft cast, although he’ll wait and see.
“Depends on how it feels at that point,” Asomugha said. “At that point it might feel fine, just based off the rehab where I might not have to wear much.”
The injury could affect Asomugha in terms of being able to use his hands in press coverage against receivers. More likely, Philip Rivers will avoid Asomugha and the bigger problem will be in tackling.
Which is how Asomugha got hurt in the first place against New Orleans in stopping Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson.
“First play of the game, on a reverse, when I went low,” Asomugha said. “I just got kicked. Same way I did my elbow last year.”
Cable said he expected Asomugha to wear a cast and participate in practice in preparation for the game.
“I’m not sure you really have to (limit him with it) in the cast,” Cable said. “He’ll be wanting to prepare for that the right way and all of that as well.”
More news and notes:
– Wide receiver Louis Murphy didn’t finish practice with a foot sprain. Cable said he didn’t think it was serious, while Murphy said it was just a bruise and expected to play.
If Murphy didn’t start, Cable said Javon Walker, and not Johnnie Lee Higgins, would start alongside Darrius Heyward-Bey.
– Murphy said he has put Saturday’s ball security issues in the past.
“The pace of the game hasn’t really changed and the pressure doesn’t bother me,” Murphy said. “The first ball slipped out of my hands, the second was stripped out of my hands and the third was a drop. I really don’t feel it was a big deal. I’ve been working on ball secruity all week_ even more than I usually do.”
– Wide receiver Nick Miller, the undrafted free agent on the bubble at wide receiver along with Todd Watkins and Jonathan Holland, won’t put any added emphasis on what could be his last chance to make the 53-man roster.
“If I go out there like that I’ll be nervous,” Miller said. “If you play out of your game, you’re not going to play well. Every day is like a big practice for me and every practice is like a game.”
– Cable noted the Seattle game was a chance for players to not only make the Raiders roster, but possibly get a look elsewhere as well.
`I think the significance of it is for this team to come back out and again go at playing Raider football the way we want to play it,” Cable said. “Most importantly it’s the opportunity, for a lot of guys, because you put this on film not just for us to look at it but other teams in the league. It’s a pretty big deal.”
– Players lined up after practice for a chance to meet Ice Cube, with quarterback JaMarcus Russell visiting the longest.
– Linebacker Slade Norris (calf) was back in a limited basis, going through warmups and drills, but did not participate in team sessions.
– Cable estimated there are between 40 and 42 players who have the roster made, barring injury.
– Updates on starters and how long they would play will be following the walkthrough Wednesday, Cable said.