ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Starting left guard Frank Middleton and
rookie receiver Carlos Francis have been lost for the remainder of
the Oakland Raiders' season because of injuries that will require
In addition, four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson was
having an MRI exam Monday for a hip pointer and his status was
Middleton, an eight-year veteran who turned 30 Monday, was
carted off the field midway through the first quarter of Sunday's
31-26 loss to the Saints with a torn left quadriceps muscle. Guard
Brad Badger blocked a New Orleans player into him, causing 6-foot-3, 330-pound Middleton to fall awkwardly with most of his
weight on his left leg.
Middleton tore his right quadriceps last season and finished the
year on injured reserve. He may have played his final game for the
Raiders, given that he always feels his roster spot is in danger and said
during the summer he figured to be cut during training camp.
Middleton, one of the team's unofficial spokesmen, restructured his
contract before this season.
Francis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee
when he fumbled a fourth-quarter kickoff and was pulled down from
behind by New Orleans cornerback Jason Craft. The fumble was
recovered by Colby Bockwoldt, who ran it 6 yards into the end zone
for what turned out to be the deciding score.
"He's a young player," coach Norv Turner said. "I think you
learn by going through things like that. Unfortunately, the injury
is a significant one. It's one guys come back from and play. He'll
recover and we'll get him started again when he's able to go."
Defensive tackle Ted Washington has bruised ribs, but Turner was
optimistic he might be able to play Sunday at San Diego.
"We'll see how he goes through the week, but he hopefully will
be able to participate late in the week and be able to play,"
If Ron Stone, who has been nursing a left knee strain, is healthy
enough to go this week, he would play right guard, moving Badger
into the left guard spot to replace Middleton.
Stone ran Monday, but he hasn't played in Oakland's past three
Raiders starting LG Frank Middleton and rookie WR Carlos Francis have been lost for the rest of the season because of injuries that will require surgery. In addition, cornerback Charles Woodson was to have an MRI exam Monday on a hip pointer.