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Russell out and he should stay out

12/4/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

JaMarcus Russell will not return in the second half of the Raiders' game in San Diego.

He was hurt and he was replaced by Andrew Walter.
Russell should be shut down for the rest of the season. There is no reason for Oakland to play the beleaguered and battered second-year quarterback the rest of the season.

Yes, he needs more seasoning. But he should get it in the offseason, in the preseason and in 2009. Russell can't get anything but more hurt and more frustrated out of the final three games of the season.

Russell isn't going to get anything out playing the rest of this season other than taking a physical beating and losing confidence. The 2008 season needs to be history for Russell.

He was taken off on a cart late in the first half with San Diego leading 24-0.

The NFL Network reported on its broadcast that Oakland coach Tom Cable said Russell would not return to the game but X-rays were negative so he will likely not be lost for the season.

But the Raiders should shelve him anyway. Russell has been dealing with knee and ankle injuries the past several weeks. There is no need getting him anymore banged up. If the Raiders end up losing this game, they will be officially eliminated from contention in the AFC West. So there would be no reason for Russell to risk getting injured.

This season has been a total loss for Russell. The No. 1 overall pick in 2007 can't be called a bust yet, but he is on his way. He has been terribly inaccurate and unable to consistently lead his team down the field.

Oakland needs to shut him down, get better offensive linemen in the offseason and hope Russell can develop in his second full season as a starter.

Taking time off will also give Russell time off to catch his breath. Maybe he is getting tired. On the NFL Network telecast Thursday night, Bob Papa said Russell was a no-show for a production meeting Wednesday and that the Raiders' PR staff unsuccessfully tried to get him to show. Quarterbacks routinely meet with the broadcasting staff prior to every NFL game.

The jury is in on 2008 and it's time for Russell to sit down. It's for his and the Raiders' own good.