Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Gannon listed as doubtful, won't start
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marques Tuiasosopo will start at
quarterback for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Detroit in place
of injured Rich Gannon.
Gannon, the reigning NFL MVP, was listed as doubtful Wednesday
with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Such an injury could
sideline him for several weeks.
"How long it's going to be, I don't know," coach Bill Callahan
said. "I'm confident he can get back sooner than later. He's
always been a quick healer. ... Rich is a fierce competitor.
Nobody, I believe, in football wants to get back to the playing
field worse than Rich Gannon."
Gannon was injured in the Raiders' 17-10 loss to Kansas City on
Oct. 20 and hasn't thrown a pass since. He was knocked out of the
game in the first half following two sacks by linebacker Shawn
Barber and several other hits.
"Marques is a guy who's been with us three years," Callahan
said. "He has excellent management of the offense. He knows how to
compete, but starting is a different thing. We feel confident in
his ability to step in."
The 24-year-old Tuiasosopo nearly rallied the Raiders (2-5) to a
comeback win against the Chiefs, but fell just short when Tim Brown
was tackled on the 1-yard line as time expired. Tuiasosopo was
16-for-28 for 224 yards after replacing Gannon.
Tuiasosopo, a seldom-used backup in his third pro season after a
stellar college career at Washington, has had extra time taking
snaps with the first-team offense because the Raiders had their bye
"I'm just fired up to be able to contribute to the team a
little bit more and help us win a ballgame," he said. "I'm just
going out there to try to have some fun and try to win. It's been a
while. We need to get back on a win streak."
Before his Monday night appearance, Tuiasosopo had thrown just
six passes all season for the Raiders and 10 in his NFL career.
His teammates have confidence in Tuiasosopo.
"He just plays," receiver Jerry Porter said. "He doesn't
worry about things. When we came into the game, he said 'Let's get
this thing going.' I like the fact he didn't get rattled. ... He
had to wait his turn, and now's his time."
Wide receiver Ronald Curry will work as the Raiders' No. 3 quarterback.