Brad Badger expected to start at LG

S&BI Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2005


Brad Badger might be the nicest guy on Oakland's offensive line. He's also the most versatile. He's played both guard positions, has worked at center and long-snapper and has even lined up as a tight end at times this year.

With Langston Walker ruled out of Sunday's game in Tennessee after undergoing emergency surgery Tuesday, Badger is all but certain to start at left guard against the Titans. Badger started the last 11 games for Oakland in 2004, the final eight at left guard.

Badger was limited in practice Wednesday but progressed well enough on Thursday that the Raiders anticipated him being ready to play in Tennessee.

''He looked good,'' Oakland coach Norv Turner said. ''It would probably be Saturday when we make the final decision but he can play left guard. And we can work Jake (Grove) at left guard and at center, so we have flexibility.''

Grove has not played since damaging cartilage in his right knee Oct. 2 against Dallas. He returned to full practice this week and has been splitting his time in practice between center and guard. Adam Treu, who has started the last two games at center, continued to take the bulk of work with the starting offense.

Walker, diagnosed with an intra-abdominal hemorrhage, remains hospitalized and isn't likely to be released until early next week.

Turner said it was too early to predict whether Walker would be able to play again this season or not but did say he spoke to the veteran offensive lineman who expressed frustration over his situation.

''He's really disappointed be he (was) playing good and he's getting a chance to play,'' Turner said. ''It's hard, you know? It's hard for a guy. But he'll be all right and he'll be able to continue his career.''

Oakland players were first informed of Walker's situation when they arrived at practice on Wednesday. Turner told the players about it during a team meeting that morning.

''It definitely makes you re-evaluate your injury status, your health status, just because this is a game but it's also a business but then there's also the game of life,'' Oakland middle linebacker Danny Clark said. ''You have to handle yourself in that nature or you can't do any of the other things. So you definitely have to make sure you're healthy enough to live first and foremost then get out and perform in this business.''

Left tackle Barry Sims e-mailed Walker and said the situation is a wake-up call for himself and other athletes.

''There's things you can play through and things you can't,'' Sims said. ''It's tough. You know what you're capable of and what you can play through and what you can't. When there's a serious incident like that you do think about it for a second. But you move on to the next play, that's kind of the mentality of football. It might not be the right thing but that's just kind of how we're programmed.''

NOTES

* Veteran safety Reggie Tongue worked out for the Raiders on Thursday but the team did not extend a contract offer to him. Turner said the team will bring in other players and could sign someone as early as next week. Linebacker Edward Thomas, who was with the team in training camp, was also brought in for a tryout.

* Jerry Davis, older brother of team owner Al Davis, was taken away from the team's headquarters by ambulance and transported to a local hospital after feeling ''lightheaded,'' according to Raiders chief executive Amy Trask. ''In an abundance of caution, we're doing this,'' Trask said. ''We're anticipating he'll be fine.''

* Running back Justin Fargas was added to the team's injury list with a knee injury. He is listed as probable to play against Tennessee.

* Wide receiver Randy Moss ''had a fairly full practice'' Thursday, according to Turner.

* The Raiders have not won a road game this season and are just 2-8 playing away from home under Turner. Since 2002, when they won the AFC championship and played in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Raiders are 2-16 on the road.



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