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Raiders Notes: Uneventful Raider debut for newcomer Rhodes

SAN DIEGO -- In cased you missed it, running back Dominic Rhodes did play Sunday.

The play just didn't count.

Rhodes' only action after being suspended four games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy was a short run that was negated by a holding penalty on guard Robert Gallery.

Beyond that, the Raiders didn't use the back they gave a two-year, $7.5 million contract to in the offseason.

Rhodes didn't comment on the situation except to say, "It is what it is."

Coach Lane Kiffin said the struggles on offense combined with LaMont Jordan's back being good enough to allow him to play were factors in Rhodes' limited action.

"It was just one of those games where we weren't getting the running game going," Kiffin said. "Pop him in there one time and ran a draw and got a holding penalty on the draw and it goes back to first and 20."

Besides that play, Kiffin used Justin Fargas to relieve Jordan.

OOPS! -- Shane Lechler's run on a fake punt in the second quarter was a matter of miscommunication.

"We had a possible fake situation," Kiffin said. "And if they gave us the right look, we were going to fake it. So Stuart (Schweigert) audibled back to a normal punt, and 10 of 11 guys got it. With the crowd noise, Shane didn't hear it."

The play didn't hurt the Raiders because Thomas Howard returned his interception 66 yards for a touchdown after the Chargers took over.

CHANGE IN STATUS -- Kiffin said Friday he didn't expect Jordan or defensive end Derrick Burgess to play. Both were in the starting lineup after feeling good in pregame warmups. Burgess put a good hit on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers but rotated out more often than usual.

Jordan said his back felt tight at times during the game. He gained 42 yards in 18 carries.

A surprise scratch was linebacker Sam Williams. He hadn't been listed on the injury report until Saturday and didn't miss practice. Kiffin said Williams hurt his shoulder Sept. 30 against Miami.

SPECIAL PLEASURE -- Having gone 9-23 in two seasons as Raiders coach, Norv Turner was unceremoniously dumped following the 2005 season. That he took pleasure in beating his old employer isn't all that surprising. What was a bit of a shock was Turner acknowledging he did indeed derive a special pleasure in doing so.

"Certainly there is, and I'm not going to lie about that," Turner said. "But that's personal, and that's not the issue. Our issue is that we've obviously dug ourselves in a hole. We're getting out of it."

GETTING HIS ROLL ON -- Maybe you missed it, but after San Diego cornerback Drayton Florence intercepted Daunte Culpepper to end the Raiders' first possession of the day, Florence openly mocked the quarterback by doing Culpepper's celebratory arm roll, the one that resembles a false start penalty call.

Florence was feeling it, as he shares an alma mater with Culpepper -- Vanguard High School in Ocala, Fla.

"That was my first interception" against Culpepper, Florence said. "That was my second time playing against him. Us being from the same high school, it felt good to get one on him."

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