By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 at 12:07 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News and notes following Tom Cable’s press briefing Friday before the Raiders boarded a plane to Seattle:
– If all goes as planned, quarterback JaMarcus Russell will get a series or two and then begin preparing for the opener against San Diego on Sept. 14. Same with most of the first team offense.
Jeff Garcia will relieve Russell, Bruce Gradkowski will play into early in the third quarter, with Charlie Frye finishing up.
Gradkowski vs. Frye is one of what Cable termed, “one of the great battles that will go on Thursday night,” and give the coach credit _ he said it with a straight face.
– LB Slade Norris, recovering from a calf strain, is expected to play, as is S Michael Huff (quad), CB/KR Justin Miller (turf toe) WR Louis Murphy (bruised foot) and DE Matt Shaughnessy (foot sprain).
– Those who won’t play include CB Nnamdi Asomugha (wrist), WR Chaz Schilens (foot), T Khalif Barnes (ankle), RB Justin Fargas (hamstring), S Mike Mitchell (hamstring), C John Wade (stinger), LB Kirk Morrison (elbow), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder), S Rashad Baker (stinger) and P Shane Lechler.
– Cable said he’ll name a starter at running back next week while a the same time saying game planning will have a lot to do with who plays.
He said Fargas’ hamstring is sore enough that he couldn’t play Thursday night, but that he could be OK if there were a game Sunday and that he will ready for certain against San Diego.
– Regardless, it will be a heavy dose of Louis Rankin and Gary Russell agianst the Seahawks to make sure McFadden and Bush are ready for Week 1.
– Mitchell is expected to join his teammates on the field next week for the first time since Aug. 11 when he pulled his hamstring.
– Best estimates have Barnes available by Week 2 or 3.
– Wade, who practiced for one day before being proclaimed a candidate to start at center, sat out for the second straight day and Cable said “it’s not enough yet” regarding his recovery.
– With half-filled venues at home and a fairly friendly environment at Candlestick Park, the Seattle game offers at least a simulation of a hostile venue.
“We’ll have to work on our cadence, managing the game, all those things,” Cable said.
Coming later: Position-by-position roster breakdown heading into preseason finale . . .