Thursday, October 23, 2003
Raiders place Romanowski on IR
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski was
placed on injured reserve Thursday night, but the 16-year veteran
has no immediate plans to retire.
Romanowski has missed Oakland's last four games after a series
of concussions earlier in the season, which ended his streak of
appearances in 243 consecutive games. Romanowski, who has played in
five Super Bowls, never missed a game before this season.
"It's a hard decision. The facts dictated the decision," coach
Bill Callahan said. "We haven't discussed any additional seasons
or retirement at this point."
The 37-year-old Romanowski left the Raiders' training complex
before Callahan's announcement. He will remain with Oakland for the
rest of the season as an unofficial defensive adviser, helping the
team and his replacement, Travian Smith.
"I don't think there's been a more dominant player than Bill at
that position," Callahan said. "He knows all the intricacies of
the position, how to play that role. He understands blocking
schemes as well as anyone I've ever been around. We'll miss the
chemistry he brings. We'll miss his leadership as well."
Romanowski, in his second season with the Raiders, also played
for Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver. His high-profile career
has included plenty of intimidating hits and a fantastic regimen of
physical preparation -- as well as a history of questionable
behavior, including an infamous fight during training camp two
Last week, Romanowski was sued by teammate Marcus Williams for
punching the second-year tight end in the face during the fight.
Williams also is on injured reserve with a broken orbital bone.
The suit, filed in Alameda County court, seeks unspecified
damages for alleged battery, negligence and intentional infliction
of emotional distress. Romanowski has apologized for his actions.
Romanowski has undergone dozens of tests with several teams of
doctors in recent weeks to examine his health, and doctors
apparently advised him against returning to the field this season.
He is expected to visit specialists for several more months before
making a decision on his future.
In addition, if Romanowski retires before the end of the season,
it would cause serious salary cap problems for the Raiders by
accelerating the application of his signing bonus to Oakland's
"I was still optimistic that the results would show he could
possibly play," Callahan said. "But unfortunately, not."
The Raiders will consider several options to fill Romanowski's
roster spot. Players at several positions will audition this
weekend for the team, which is on its bye week.