As much as players attempted to deflect the idea that the loss of quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was an emotional downer in a 34-13 loss to Washington, at least one player was willing Monday to concede it had an impact.
“You could kind of see it emotionally a little bit, the wind left our sails, so to speak, just a little bit, when that happened,” defensive end Jay Richardson said. “But that’s part of the game. If a guy goes down, the next guy has to come in and step up, and the team has to rally around that guy.
“We could have done a better job of kind of rallying around the next guy coming up and giving him a boost.”
Gradkowski ruled himself out this week with torn left medial collateral ligament and a partially torn right medial collateral ligament, and with three games left in the season, it’s conceivable he is done for the season.
Running back Justin Fargas, who in recent weeks lauded Gradkowski’s command of the huddle and enthusiasm, said, “Well I think we were building something there but we can’t let the momentum or fire be killed by that we have to find a way to keep it going.”
Since coach Tom Cable declined to name a starter following the game and admitted there was some thought given to playing No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye, Russell can’t be considered a slam-dunk choice to start against Denver until the words come out of the coaches mouth.
Cable, who meets with the press at 2 p.m. today (PST), said it was his his call to repalce Russell with Gradkowski, although you can logically assume Al Davis signed off on the decision.
The question is whether Cable would essentially bench Russell a second time, and if Davis would go along with that as well.
Stay tuned . . .