By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 4:09 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Whatever was left of the Jason Campbell-Bruce Gradkowski controversy, if it ever evolved to that, was put to rest Thursday.
Gradkowski went to the injured reserve list, J.T. O’Sullivan was signed as the third quarterback, and Campbell, unless there’s a move toward Kyle Boller, will get a chance to play without looking over his shoulder.
Although he wasn’t available for comment, it’s unlikely this was Gradkowski’s idea. He joined the team for Wednesday’s practice, jogging through drills, and was with the team at the Thursday morning walkthrough.
Not long after the Raiders came off the field at 12:15 p.m., O’Sullivan was arriving at the practice facility with a member of the support staff and Gradkowski got the news he was done for the season.
You wonder if Gradkowski’s eagerness to return this season, laudable in a competitor, was something the Raiders simply didn’t want to deal with as the season was coming to a close.
Campbell was signed to an extension after being traded to the Raiders for $4.6 million next season, and it makes sense for the club to let him get those five games in, health permitting, or determine whether to go in a different direction.
“It would be a week a week or two weeks before he could even throw again or practice,’’ coach Tom Cable said. “You look at what’s left on our schedule. It’s just not enough time. I think it was a good decision made to move forward.’’
More news, notes and observations from Thursday:
— Rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain missed practice with a foot injury of undetermined severity. He’ll have an X-Ray and MRI. Cable said he didn’t know if it was an issue for the San Diego game.
“We hope not,’’ Cable said. “It was a little sore yesterday, nothing to even talk about. All of a sudden today it was sore. So we’re investigating it.’’
— Defensive tackle Richard Seymour did not practice with a knee injury. A Raiders spokesman said they mistakenly wrote “shoulder’’ on the previous day’s report.
— O’Sullvan has bounced around the NFL after a successful career at UC Davis, having been with 11 teams, three of which he actually saw playing time with four of them.
He got his most extensive playing time with the 49ers in 2008, completing 128 of 220 passes (58.2 percent) for 1,678 yards, eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions before being benched in favor of Shaun Hill.
“We know a little bit about his background, (Passing game coordinator) Ted Tollner was with him in San Francisco,’’ Cable said. “So he’s got some experience and a little bit of the terminology. And he has started a few games in the NFL.’’
O’Sullivan also spent some time early this season with the Chargers, who not coincidentally happen to be Sunday’s opponent. Might that be a reason he was signed?
“I don’t know so much about that, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask,’’ Cable said.
— Cable conceded that fullback Marcel Reece has gone off the radar in recent weeks but he doesn’t expect it to stay that way.
“I don’t think there have been opportunities like there were early,’’ Cable said. “He was a very impactful player for us there for a stretch, and people are defending the heck out of him now. I think there will be opportunities as we move forward.’’
— Wide receiver Chaz Schilens practiced on consecutive days for the first time since training camp, although he was still listed as being “ limited.’’
Maybe he’ll make it into a game this season after all. He looked spry enough dodging reporters when he initially came off the field following the morning walkthrough.
Also limited were CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), SS Tyvon Branch (shoulder) and TE Zach Miller (leg, plantar fascia).
CB Chris Johnson (groin) is not making a lot of progress, didn’t practice and looks as if he’ll miss a second straight game.
— Defensive coordinator John Marshall, his unit having given up 68 points in the last two games and struggling with its pass rush and coverage ability, was more tight-lipped than usual in his session with the media.
Marshall has saved his most pointed criticisms at a much higher decibel level for the meeting rooms.
“(We’re) not making plays, basically, and the rest of the comments will stay in house because it deals with players,’’ Marshall said.
– The Chargers gained 506 yards on the Raiders in the first meeting between the teams, including 431 yards passing by Philip Rivers.
However, Oakland put the game away by blitzing Rivers on six straight plays, with Michael Huff coming up with a sack/fumble recovered by Branch that was returned 69 yards for a touchdown.
While not revealing anything to do with a plan of attack, Marshall said, “:I think when you play defense if you’re too cautious then you’re not playing defense. So you play and you rely on the players making plays.’’
— Marshall said his unit’s strength against San Diego was “our coverage, our DBs and our defensive line pass rush.’’