By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 10:53 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News, notes, quotes and observations following the Raiders’ 28-24 loss to the 49ers Saturday night at the Coliseum:
– Here is how coach Tom Cable responded when asked if he expected Jason Campbell to be available for the season opener after being sidelined by a stinger following a sack by Travis LaBoy.
“Yeah, I do. At this point it does not seem to be a serious issue.”
A “stinger,” or “burner” is described as a “`nerve injury resulting from trauma to the neck and shoulder. Its primary symptom is burning pain radiating down one upper extremity.”
It can be a brief injury or something that can take weeks to heal.
Campbell admitted that as he was lying on the field he was a lot more concerned than when he addressed reporters following he game.
“It felt a lot worse at the time that it happened, but thank God … they don’t think it’s going to be really, really serious,” Campbell said. “But at the same time it’s something we’ve got to take care of before the season starts.”
In Campbell’s case, it’s a concern because stingers tend to be a recurring injury and it’s not the first time he’s had one.
“Yeah, I had one before. It felt a little bit more than a stinger at the time,’’ Campbell said. “Just trying to take (precautions). Trying to get up. At the same time, I couldn’t really feel a lot because it was down the back of my neck a little bit. We went to get it X-rayed to see what’s going on.
“Usually I recover pretty fast. Right now there’s no timetable. The thing is just to improve and continue to keep getting better. We don’t know the timetable or anything, but at the same time, I haven’t really missed any time before.” At the time of his injury, Campbell was 6 of 8 for 93 yards with a quarterback rating of 113.0, including a gorgeous game-opening eight-play, 81-yard drive.
“I thought I was doing great,’’ Campbell said. “I felt we were doing what we needed to do. Took the first drive down there and scored. Penalties hurt us after that.’’
–Bush fractured his left thumb on his seventh and final carry. He gained 23 yards and scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run.
“A safety came down, instead of getting my legs he got my hand and the ball,’’ Bush said. “That’s part of the game.’’
Bush said he wouldn’t know his status until he talked the medical staff Sunday, but it wasn’t an encouraging sight to see Michael Bennett tying his shoes in the locker room. He said he’s never played with a broken bone his hand before but noted optimistically, “It’s just the hand, hopefully I’ll be back, I mean, a hand to a leg is totally different. I broke my leg and I bounced back from that and I’ll do the same with my hand.’’
– -If Kyle Boller had drawn even in the race to be Campbell’s backup, Bruce Gradkowski hit the third-quarter turn on a dead sprint to pull back ahead.
Gradkowski completed 14 of 22 passes for 202 yards, touchdowns passes of74 yards to Louis Murphy and 27 yards to Zach Miller, no interceptions, and a 123.7 quarterback rating.
The first touchdown came in the final two minutes of the first half to put the Raiders within 17-14, and then he opened the second half with a 72-yard, nine-play drive which culminated in the throw to Miller.
If that wasn’t enough, Gradkowski had a deep heave drop through the hands of Todd Watkins inside the 5-yard line on fourth-and-9 from the 40-yard line and 1:14 to play. Watkins attempted to take the pass in over his shoulder and couldn’t reel it in.
“I haven’t been out there so it was good to get the feel of the first team,’’ Gradkowski said. “It was good to play almost three quarters. It was really good to get back out there and get a feel.’’
For any of you who think Gradkowski is making a run at Campbell for the starting role, here was how Cable assessed his performance:
“Bruce Gradkowski was one of the bright spots in terms of going in there and having some efficiency and move the club around fairly well,’’ Cable said. “I think that’s what you want from your backup quarterback and he showed himself very well that way.’’
– The 49ers rushed for 165 yards on 33 carries, with the first team defense getting gashed for big plays (Frank Gore’s 49-yard run) and the reserves getting hit for a lot of little ones.
“I didn’t think we tackled particularly well tonight,’’ Cable said. “We had plenty of guys where we needed them. I just did not think early we tackled very well at all.’’
– Here’s the positive spin:
“Would love to win the football game without any question but more than anything we learned a lot about ourselves tonight,’’ Cable said. “We have a chance to have a very good football team but we have to do it our way.
“We have to do it all out all the time and I think there’s too many ups and downs in this football game for us to be who we need to be to succeed. A lot to learn from it, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad it happened now as opposed to a few weeks from now.’’
It’s worth noting Richard Seymour was rested because of his triceps injury.
– The early review on rookie center Jared Veldheer, starting in place of Samson Satele:
“I think you have to look at the film for that. I can remember one, there was a run through by a linebacker, (Patrick) Willis, one time that was on him but overall I think he directed the protections well,’’ Cable said. “He really didn’t show up as the game went on so that’s a good sign. But we’ll have to look at the film.
Cable, of course, wanted to see more film.
– Raiders quarterbacks were 20 of 30 for 295 yards and that included four or five dropped passes of varying degrees of difficulty.
– No return specialists stepped forward to do anything of note. The longest punt return was 11 yards by Johnnie Lee Higgins on a kick that he fielded at the 4-yard line rather than let bounce in the end zone.
Phillip Adams wasn’t even listed on the flip card as a specialist for the 49ers, but had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in which he wasn’t touched.
Ken Jurovich of the 49ers had a 48-yard kickoff return one play after Sebastian Janikowski’s touchback was nullified because Higgins was offsides.
– Linebacker Rolando McClain led the Raiders with eight tackles and made a few plays but was victimized on a few others.
–The Raiders played it fairly straight defensively, which everyone expected they would, given their regular-season game against the 49ers in October.
– Attendance was announced at 42,248, which of course represents tickets sold and in no way reflected the actual amount of fans in the park.
– Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight’s live chat.