The Raiders' worst fears about the extent of the injury to starting right defensive end Tommy Kelly were realized Tuesday when it was learned that Kelly sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is out for the season.
Kelly was hurt Sunday early in the third quarter while making a tackle against the Tennessee Titans. He missed the rest of the game and was on crutches afterward. He is scheduled to undergo surgery today and is expected to be out of action until March or so, a person close to Kelly said.
At least Kelly still has a job. Veteran wide receiver Mike Williams was waived Tuesday, two days after he committed a costly penalty and dropped a fourth-down pass in the second half of a 13-9 loss to the Titans.
The Raiders no doubt will place Kelly on the injured-reserve list today. That leaves one open spot on the 53-man roster.
Williams' spot was taken by veteran receiver Tim Dwight, who passed a physical and signed a one-year contract Tuesday, a person close to Dwight confirmed.
The roster vacancy likely will be filled by another defensive lineman or rookie running back Michael Bush. Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said Monday that he anticipates Bush being activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list in the coming days.
Bush has not practiced with the team since the Raiders selected him with the first pick of the fourth round in the 2007 NFL draft. He has been rehabilitating a right leg he broke in the first game of his final college season last year.
HALL OF FAME NOMINEES -- Former Raiders quarterbacks Jim Plunkett and Ken Stabler and 49ers defensive end Charles Haley were among 124 modern-era players, coaches and contributors on the preliminary list of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008.
Other former Raiders nominated were wide receiver Cliff Branch, tight end Todd Christensen, cornerbacks Lester Hayes and Albert Lewis, offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski, punter Ray Guy and coach Tom Flores.
Other former 49ers on the list were running backs Roger Craig and Ricky Watters, wide receiver Dwight Clark, tight ends Russ Francis and Brent Jones, defensive lineman Fred Dean and owner Ed DeBartolo Jr.
Cornerback Darrell Green and receivers Cris Carter and Herman Moore were the most notable first-year eligibles.
Voters will choose 25 candidates from that group as semifinalists; that list will be announced late in November. From there, the list will be pared to 15 finalists, who will be considered at the selection committee's meetings during Super Bowl week.
At least four and no more than seven nominees will be elected the day before the Super Bowl.
To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a player or coach must have been retired at least five years.
QUICK HITTERS -- Dallas quarterback Tony Romo signed a six-year, $67.5 million contract, which included a $11.5 million signing bonus. ... Quarterback J.P. Losman will start for Buffalo on Sunday against Cincinnati because rookie Trent Edwards needs additional time to recover from a sprained right wrist. ... DeShawn Wynn's season is over, while Koren Robinson's could begin Sunday at Kansas City. With their roster exemption from the NFL for Robinson expiring, the Packers added the reinstated receiver, making room for him on the 53-man roster by placing Wynn, their leading rusher, on season-ending injured reserve with what coach Mike McCarthy called "a significant shoulder injury." ... The Falcons announced that some 3,000 tickets are still available for Sunday's game against the 49ers, endangering a streak of 56 consecutive sellouts at the 70,000-seat Georgia Dome. ... Washington placed cornerback Carlos Rogers (torn knee ligaments) on injured reserve. ... Sam Dana, who was the oldest living former NFL player and once played football alongside Lou Gehrig at Columbia, died in his sleep Monday. He was 104. ... The oldest son of Eagles coach Andy Reid was taken into custody again after failing a drug test, prosecutors said.