Russell easing into quarterback role

JaMarcus Russell

JaMarcus Russell will get his first exposure to playing in an NFL stadium other than Oakland this week.

The rookie quarterback still won't start but coach Lane Kiffin said he plans to play JaMarcus Russell when the Raiders travel to Jacksonville next Sunday.

"I would anticipate him playing this week and getting him some more opportunity to play," Kiffin said. "Hopefully it will go better than it did (against Indianapolis)."

Russell played three brief series during Oakland's 21-14 loss to the Colts on Sunday. The offense managed only one first down during that time while Russell completed just 2 of 5 passes for 10 yards.

It was only the second time all season that Russell, the No. 1 pick in the draft, has played. He had a two-series stint in the Raiders' 34-20 win over Denver on Dec. 2. In both games he relieved starter Josh McCown in the second quarter.

McCown is expected to start against the Jaguars, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Oakland. Just when Russell will play, however, hasn't been determined.

"I don't know yet exactly what it will be," Kiffin said. "We may expose him to some different situations. We will spend at least the next 36 hours figuring that out."

Although he has yet to throw his first touchdown pass in the NFL and is just 6 of 12 for 66 yards.

"I'm a very confident guy," Russell said following the loss to Indianapolis. "At times, you can get a little down on yourself. I'm pretty sure Coach knows what he's doing. Whether he puts me in or takes me out, it doesn't matter. Because I'm going to go out there and help my team any way I can."

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