Raiders' Walter expected to be ready for training camp
Quarterback Andrew Walter, who was 2-6 in eight starts for the Raiders last season, has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined until Oakland's training camp start date of July 27.
The procedure was aimed at addressing a problem that Walter developed during preseason play in 2006, and which lingered through the regular season. The surgery was not considered serious, and Walter should have sufficient time to rehabilitate before camp begins, first-year coach Lane Kiffin said.
Although a part-time starter in 2006, Walter is expected to vie for a backup job this year. The Raiders used the top overall pick in the 2007 draft to select former LSU star JaMarcus Russell, and Oakland also acquired five-year veteran Josh McCown from Detroit in a trade the first day of the draft.
Many observers believe McCown will open the season as the starter, as the Raiders figure to demonstrate patience in working Russell into the lineup. Walter has a strong arm and, while not very mobile, possesses some pocket presence. But it could be difficult for him, with McCown and Russell probably ahead of him on the depth chart, to get playing time.
While he demonstrated toughness and grit at times in 2006, Walter suffered through a difficult season, and from playing behind a porous offensive line.
Playing in an offense that statistically ranked as the league's worst, he completed 147 of 276 passes for 1,677 yards, with only three touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, for a passer efficiency rating of 55.8. Walter was sacked 46 times.
The former Arizona State quarterback was a third-round choice in the 2005 draft following a college career in which he put up big numbers. He did not appear in a game as a rookie, in part because he was still recovering from shoulder surgery that followed his final college season.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.