Raiders cut Hartwell, sign punter

Raiders cut Hartwell, sign punter

The Raiders made one final roster move before wrapping up training camp in Napa on Wednesday, signing punter Glenn Pakulak and releasing linebacker Ed Hartwell.

Pakulak was signed to take the place of Shane Lechler, who aggravated a quad muscle injury late in practice Tuesday. Although the team doesn't believe Lechler's injury is too serious, he could be sidelined 7-10 days.

"I wasn't here, but I guess in 2001 he did something like that," Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin said. "This is not as serious as that was."

With Sebastian Janikowski also ruled out for Friday night's game in Tennessee, Oakland will be facing the Titans without both of their kickers.

Hartwell signed with the Raiders in the offseason and had hoped to work his way into the linebacking rotation. But with no hope of unseating Kirk Morrison as the starting middle linebacker, the veteran Hartwell was deemed expendable.

Pakulak has been trying to get a job in the NFL since 2003 when he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. He was cut by the ‘Hawks and has since joined five other teams, including a brief stint with the Raiders in 2006 -- he never played but was allocated by Oakland to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe.

Meanwhile, the team is trying to get a clearer understanding of what is going on with cornerback DeAngelo Hall's right hand. Hall said he suffered the injury some time before the Raiders' preseason-opener against the 49ers and underwent an MRI test and X-ray test which proved inconclusive.

Now they're seeking a third opinion on the situation.

Hall told reporters that he had a broken hand in his right hand but Kiffin wasn't so sure when he spoke to the media after the team's morning practice Wednesday.

"The only thing we know for sure is that it is a bruise. It's a bruise with a possible sprain," Kiffin said. "There has been nothing so far that has said that it's broken, none of the readings. But we want to make sure of this."

Hall didn't seem too concerned about playing with the injury but said he wants to find out exactly7 what's going on.

"I still can't touch anything. I can't put my hand down," Hall said. "My main thing is even if it's broken, it doesn't mean anything. If I can go out there and play then I can go out there and play. If something hurts something hurts. I gotta try to get to the bottom of it. I didn't sign a one-year deal. I'm looking more for the long term rather than a quick fix."

Hall is expected to play against the Titans, as is Nnamdi Asomugha who had X-rays taken on his right foot late Tuesday. The tests came back negative and Asomugha returned to practice.

While the ideal situation for both Hall and Asomugha would be rest, the truth is Oakland doesn't have that luxury.

"We don't have much depth. It's very evident, you can see that so it's definitely something that we've got to push through right now," Asomugha said. "If we had more depth we'd be able to take a little more time off and let stuff heal but it's training camp. We don't have many other bodies so we've kind of got to play through everything right now."

In other camp news:

• Kiffin said he anticipates quarterback JaMarcus Russell to play the entire first half against Tennessee.

Russell rebounded from a rough practice on Tuesday and showed some nice touch on a few deep throws. In the morning he hit tight end Mark Madsen with a strong throw down the middle during team drills, then came back in the night practice to connect with Drew Carter on back-to-back touchdown passes.

John Wade will start at center with the first team offense while Jake Grove, who started against San Francisco, will take reps with the backups. Kiffin said the team wanted each player to get a chance playing with the first unit in a game before deciding who will start in the regular season.

• Left tackle Kwame Harris had a shoulder X-ray which proved negative, good news for the Raiders who don't have much line depth. Oakland believes Harris will start but will turn to second-year player Mario Henderson if he can't.

"If he doesn't play, Super Mario would start for us on JaMarcus' backside," Kiffin said. "That'll be interesting … versus (Kyle) Vanden Bosch."

• Harris, left guard Robert Gallery and running back Darren McFadden all false started on the same play during the evening workout -- likely a result of a cadence issue at quarterback -- but only the rookie had to run a penalty lap.

Nick Sanchez, who was signed on Tuesday, made his second interception in as many days with his new team. This time Sanchez picked off a pass from Russell after it deflected off Drew Carter's hands.

That was one of the few mistakes Carter has made in camp. Earlier in the day he put a double move on Asomugha to get into the open and catch a pass in 1-on-1 drills. He also caught a deep throw from Marques Tuiasosopo in 7-on-7 drills then made a leaping catch on another pass from Tuiasosopo.

• Tight end Tony Stewart wore a protective boot on his left foot. Stewart has been unable to practice lately due to an unknown toe injury.

• In a passing drill pitting linebackers against running backs, Ricky Brown was very impressive while staying stride-for-stride with Michael Bush then tipping the ball away to break up the play.

• Linebacker Thomas Howard intercepted a pass from Russell on a pass that wasn't even halfway to its intended target.

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