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Sapp to have season-ending shoulder surgery

11/27/2005 - NFL Warren Sapp Oakland Raiders + more

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders placed defensive
tackle Warren Sapp on injured reserve Saturday with a right
shoulder injury, prematurely ending his 11th NFL season.

Sapp, who turns 33 next month, had been listed as doubtful
during the week for Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins
after injuring his shoulder during the Raiders' 16-13 win at
Washington last Sunday.

He has a torn rotator cuff, the team said.

Sapp wasn't sure when he got hurt in the game. He had an MRI
exam Wednesday and coach Norv Turner didn't immediately know the
results, though Oakland downgraded Sapp to out on Friday's injury
report.

"It's not a separation, no," Turner said Friday. "They're
just making sure in terms of the structure and everything inside. I
think we'll know something in a few days where he's at."

The team decided Saturday to place Sapp on IR for the final six
games because the injury wasn't getting better. But it isn't
considered career-threatening.

The loss of Sapp is a big blow for a Raiders defense that has
made significant strides this season, and Sapp was having a
comeback year after struggling in his first season with the Raiders
in 2004 after nine years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He agreed
to a seven-year, $36.6 million contract with the Raiders in March
2004, two months after winning the Super Bowl with the Bucs.

After spending much of last season as a defensive end in
coordinator Rob Ryan's three-man front that didn't suit his skills,
Sapp had moved back to the tackle position in the 4-3 alignment
that he excelled in while making seven consecutive Pro Bowls for
Tampa Bay.

To take Sapp's roster spot, the Raiders promoted offensive
tackle Brad Lekkerkerker from the practice squad to the active
roster. The 6-foot-7, 330-pound Lekkerkerker also was on the
Raiders practice squad last season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.