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Season-ending injuries haunt Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland safety Rod Woodson was placed on
injured reserve Wednesday with a knee injury, becoming the 11th
Raiders player lost for the season and fifth in nine days.

Woodson, in his 17th NFL season, had been playing with a sore
left knee after having minor surgery Sept. 9 to repair a meniscus
tear sustained during training camp.

He was unavailable for comment after coach Bill Callahan made
the announcement following practice.

"Let me acknowledge the fact that this is an All-Pro player, a
Hall of Fame player, that has tremendous passion for the game,"
Callahan said. "I've never seen a guy go through what he has to go
through to play the game. I haven't seen a guy who has to shoot up
every week, and doesn't practice the entire week and goes on the
field and performs the way he does because he wants to."

Woodson, 38, hasn't practiced all season and missed the team's
second game against Cincinnati. He will have surgery in the next
couple of weeks.

Last week, defensive ends Trace Armstrong and Sam Williams,
linebacker Travian Smith and backup running back Justin Fargas went
on IR. They joined quarterbacks Rich Gannon and Marques Tuiasosopo,
and linebacker Bill Romanowski -- just to name a few.

Woodson would like to return to the Raiders (3-8) next season
and doesn't want his career to end due to injury.

The Raiders elevated safety Carey Scott to the active roster
from the practice squad and signed safety Curry Burns to the
practice squad.

"We're going to miss his leadership, his performance,"
Callahan said. "You're not going to replace Rod Woodson."

Callahan said Woodson was compensating for his knee pain by
straining other muscles in his lower body.

He played in Oakland's season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 7,
then missed the following week's game. After his operation, he
played 13 days later at Denver.

"We were all shocked," Callahan said. "It just shows you the
commitment he has to playing. I've never seen anyone like him. It
just got to the point it got too sore or too damaged to play on it.
I did not know how long he could hang on playing like this. It was
unbelievable in every respect. I don't know how he did it."