Injured finger, foot put McCown's starting status in  doubt

Updated: September 12, 2007, 8:34 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders once again aren't saying who their starting quarterback will be. This time the issue is Josh McCown's health, not an attempt at a competitive advantage.

Josh McCown

McCown

Coach Lane Kiffin kept secret his decision to start McCown over Daunte Culpepper in last week's opener against Detroit, hoping to make the Lions prepare for two quarterbacks.

McCown got the nod based on his better knowledge of the offense and went 30-for-40 for 313 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-21 loss to the Lions. He also threw two interceptions and fumbled late in the game to kill the Raiders' attempt at a comeback.

McCown did not participate in team drills in practice Wednesday because of an injured right index finger and a sprained right foot.

He hurt his finger on the final play of the opener when he hit the helmet of offensive lineman Cornell Green on his follow-through. He threw before and after practice with gloves on both hands and said he felt fine. He also hurt his foot in the first half.

"That's more the concern," McCown said. "It's pretty sore. It's actually very sore. It's kind of day to day and try to get back into it so I can get better at pushing off on it."

Culpepper played with the first team in practice and would start against Denver if McCown can't go. Culpepper didn't join the Raiders until July 31 and wasn't as familiar with the offense. However, he looked good in preseason as he tries to regain his Pro Bowl form.

Kiffin said his decision on this week's starter would depend on when McCown could return to practice but that Culpepper would be ready to start if needed. Andrew Walter is the third-stringer, while newly signed top draft pick JaMarcus Russell has a two-week exemption until he needs to be placed on the roster.

"I have great confidence in all our quarterbacks, especially the first two in Josh and Daunte," Kiffin said. "As I said before, I feel both of them can put us in a situation to win."

Receiver Ronald Curry, who had 10 catches for 133 yards and a score in the opener, said it didn't matter much to him which quarterback played Sunday in Denver because he had worked with all of them in training camp.

"If it was Week 15 or something it would, but we just broke camp and have been working with different guys, nobody was a solidified starter at receiver or quarterback spot so you pretty much work with Josh, Andrew and Pep at the same time," Curry said. "So I'm pretty much comfortable with anybody that's up in there."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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