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Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Backup almost produces OT

By John Clayton

Raiders coach Bill Callahan doesn't know if starting quarterback Rich Gannon will be able to play in two weeks against the Lions.

"It's a shoulder injury," Callahan said. "I will wait to see the severity of the injury. They said he couldn't throw."

Chiefs linebacker Shawn Barber sacked Gannon on the Raiders' last offensive play of the first half of Monday night's 17-10 loss to the Chiefs. Gannon came off the field after the failed third down shaking his hand. After the half, he came back to the field and tried to put on his helmet. Trainers and a doctor surrounded him, giving him tests on his right arm.

In the end, they told him to take off the shoulder pads. His day had ended early, and Marques Tuiasosopo took over. Tuiasosopo rallied the Raiders from a 10-0 deficit and had the team within one yard of tying the score as time expired. Raiders receiver Tim Brown caught a pass, but was stopped at the Chiefs 1-yard line with no time remaining.

"I got some plays, got some good routes," Tuiasosopo said. "I got some good protection and was able to get some balls thrown and make some plays. When you do that, you get some confidence."

The young Raiders quarterback did miss an open Jerry Porter for what would have been a fourth-quarter touchdown. The Raiders had to settle for a field goal.

"He stepped up after very limited reps and practice," Porter said of his new quarterback. "Before the final drive, I told Tui, 'Write your name here today' and he did. He's been waiting his turn and he took full advantage of it."

Halfback Tyrone Wheatley yelled at him after a couple of bad possessions "to play your game."

Tuiasosopo completed 16 of 28 passes for 224 yards.