Sports

Jordan proves worth on field

ALAMEDA -- LaMont Jordan isn't sure where he'll fit in with Oakland's offense when Dominic Rhodes returns from an NFL-mandated suspension in two weeks, so the veteran running back is trying to limit the team's options.

Jordan, who missed eight games over the past two seasons due to injuries, is off to the best start of his career despite playing in one of the league's least productive offenses. He's fourth in the NFL in rushing yards and has been the Raiders' most consistent threat through two games.

Yet he doesn't believe it's enough to secure his job as Oakland's featured back. At least not yet, anyway.

"I've always said that this is my job until they give somebody else the job, (but) the way I see it, I have four games to prove what I'm capable of doing," Jordan said. "Last season ended early for me and a lot of people counted me out. I heard a lot and nothing was positive, whether it was fans, whether it was media, so this is a big year for me to prove that I am capable of being the so-called lead back."

The Raiders had their doubts after Jordan -- who signed with Oakland in 2005 after four years as a back-up with the New York Jets -- failed to make it through each of the past two seasons.

They asked him to take a pay cut in the offseason, then signed Rhodes away from Indianapolis and drafted Michael Bush.

Rhodes was suspended by the NFL for the first four games this season after violating the league's substance abuse policy following his arrest for driving under the influence. Charges were later reduced to reckless driving but the NFL's suspension prevents Rhodes from practicing or playing with the Raiders until after Week 5.

That opened the door for Jordan's audition to be Oakland's top back in Lane Kiffin's offense. So far, the 28-year-old hasn't disappointed.

Jordan had 159 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in a season-opening loss to Detroit on Sept. 9, then followed that up by rushing for a career-best 159 yards in last week's loss to Denver.

"I'm determined," Jordan said. "I still have a ways to go. I still have to get in better shape. I missed a lot of training camp, so I still want to drop some weight. But I'm really encouraged."

RAIDERS GAME TO BE BLACKED OUT -- The Raiders failed to sell out Sunday's game against Cleveland, according to a team spokesman, meaning it will be blacked out locally.

QUICK HITTERS -- The NFL has received and destroyed all materials it requested from the Patriots concerning videotaping of opponents' sidelines. A league statement Thursday said the team was in compliance with a request for tapes and other documents. ... Kevin Everett will be transferred tonight from Buffalo, N.Y., to a Houston hospital to begin the next phase of his rehabilitation, less than two weeks after the Bills tight end sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury. Doctors also said Thursday they believe he will be walking within weeks -- perhaps sooner. ... olphins middle linebacker Zach Thomas underwent tests Thursday for a possible concussion, and he may miss Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

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