Raiders notebook: McClain misses another practice
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Dec. 3, 2010

ALAMEDA -- Rookie Rolando McClain's ailing left foot took a turn for the worse Friday morning as the middle linebacker missed his second consecutive day of practice.

Raiders coach Tom Cable said McClain, 22, has arthritis in his foot and he is listed as "questionable" for Sunday's game at San Diego. If McClain cannot play, fifth-year veteran Ricky Brown will start in his place.

"He was better last night, but worse this morning," Cable said of McClain. "So it will be day-to-day and we'll probably wait until Sunday morning."

RELATED: Rolando McClain stats

McClain, the No. 8 overall draft pick out of Alabama in April, has 57 tackles, the third-highest mark on the team, with half of one sack and an interception. He has started every game thus far this season.

And while he may not be the instant play-making disruptive force so many imagined, he is an important cog of the Raiders defense.

"He's gotten better, I think, as the year went on," said cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. "In training camp, we knew that he was going to be a good player and a guy that we could put a lot on. Throughout the games, I've noticed from him that he's got a lot of confidence.

"If there is something that the coaches might be hesitant in calling, or a certain play because it puts him in a tough spot, he always tells them, 'No, I can take care of it.'"

"So he shows that maturity on the field - 'I'm not a frightened rookie. I can make plays.'"

Asomugha said his sore right ankle, sprained on Halloween, has improved and he has no doubt he'll play against the Chargers.

Receiver Chaz Schilens (knee) practiced limited for the third day in a row -- a feat he has not accomplished since late last season, by all accounts -- and he is a gametime decision, according to Cable.

"We"re getting more and more work each day with no setbacks, so that's a positive," Cable said of Schilens, who has yet to play this season. "You definitely have to take (Schilens) day-to-day.

"The limited amount of work he's working, he's at full speed."

Schilens declined to speak to reporters following practice.

Cable re-affirmed that Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback. The coach was asked, with Bruce Gradkowski done for the season on IR if he would hesitate to pull Campbell in favor of Kyle Boller against the Chargers.

"Well, Kyle will be the back-up quarterback," Cable said, "and he's ready to go if needed."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Campbell, no?

Cable also would not commit to Darrius Heyward-Bey starting at receiver, even as he is healthy.

"I don't know that," Cable said. "We'll get to all that as we know the health (of the rest of the team) there."

Cable, when asked if the Raiders can beat the Chargers without running the ball effectively: "No."

The Raiders injury report - practiced limited and questionable: WR Chaz Schilens (knee), TE Zach Miller (leg), DT Richard Seymour (knee), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), SS Tyvon Branch (shoulder).

Did not practice and questionable: MLB Rolando McClain (foot).

Did not practice and doubtful: CB Chris Johnson.