Asomugha expected to play in Week 1

Updated: September 1, 2009, 7:29 PM ET
By Adam Schefter | ESPN

Although Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has a chipped bone in his left wrist, he is expected to play in the "Monday Night Football" opener against the San Diego Chargers in Oakland.

Earlier, a source said that Asomugha was expected to miss two weeks, putting his availability for the season opener in jeopardy.

"I'll play in the opener, no problem," Asomugha said Tuesday, shooting down reports that he might miss the Raiders' Sept. 14 home game against San Diego. "If we played today it would be a big issue. I wouldn't even be able to go if it was today. But it wouldn't be an issue afterward."

Asomugha is the top bump-and-run cornerback in the league. If his wrist is bothering him, it's going to be more challenging for Asomugha to grab wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Asomugha, who signed a three-year, $45.3 million extension in the offseason, did not practice Tuesday and won't play in Oakland's preseason finale against Seattle on Thursday.

Instead, the Raiders will start fifth-year veteran Stanford Routt at right cornerback and Chris Johnson at the left side. Routt had been competing with Johnson in training camp for the starting job opposite Asomugha.

Having Asomugha available to play against San Diego is a huge plus for the Raiders, whose defense has not played very well in the preseason. Oakland heads to Seattle ranked 32nd against the run and in overall defense.

In the 45-7 loss to New Orleans last week, the Raiders' problems extended to their pass defense as well. Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 14 of 17 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns while compiling a rating of 149.8 in less than two quarters of work.

Oakland coach Tom Cable thus welcomed the news about Asomugha and said the Raiders don't anticipate having to take it easy with their best defensive player in practice.

"I'm not sure you really have to with what it is, in the cast," Cable said. "He'll be wanting to prepare for that the right way. Based on what we were told he should cast it and be able to prepare and be ready for the opener."

Asomugha is expected to wear the cast for six weeks, longer than normal for a chip fracture but necessary because of the cartilage damage.

The injury occurred on the first play from scrimmage against the Saints when Asomugha went low to tackle New Orleans wide receiver Devery Henderson, who was running a reverse.

"It doesn't feel good," Asomugha said. "When I went low I just got kicked."

Notes

Rookie wide receiver Louis Murphy sprained his right foot while running a pass pattern and was unable to finish practice. Though Murphy is expected to play against Seattle on Thursday, Cable said veteran Javon Walker would start if Murphy is unable to. ... Safety Michael Huff did not practice due to a quad injury and Cable is unsure if the former first-round draft pick will play in the preseason finale.

Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.