Sports

NFL: Raiders try out veteran kick returner Dwight

ALAMEDA -- The Oakland Raiders couldn't have been more pleased with rookie punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins in the preseason.

But with their special teams mired in a season-long slump, Higgins is out of favor in Oakland and, for now, out of the lineup.

Coach Lane Kiffin replaced Higgins last week with kickoff returner Chris Carr in an attempt to spark a punt return unit that is averaging only 2.1 yards. Carr will continue to handle the return duties when the Raiders host Kansas City on Sunday but that doesn't mean the team is done looking for help.

Veteran kick returner Tim Dwight worked out for Oakland on Wednesday but was not immediately offered a contract, though Kiffin left open the possibility of signing Dwight.

"It was good to see him, good to see him work out," Kiffin said. "He looked healthy. There were some issues there, but he looked good. He's a guy that we have on our list as a potential move."

Dwight, 32, has played for four teams in nine NFL seasons. He was most recently with the New York Jets in 2006 but was placed on injured reserve in early December with foot and thigh injuries that forced him to miss the final five games of the season.

A wide receiver with only 188 career receptions, Dwight has three career punt returns for touchdowns and another two on kickoffs. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound veteran has a career punt return average of 9.8 yards.

Oakland's special teams haven't had a touchdown of any kind since Phillip Buchanon scored on an 80-yard punt return against San Diego on Dec. 28, 2003. The Raiders also returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in that same game but have not been into the end zone since.

BILLS -- The Buffalo Bills intend to play a few games in Canada, eh?

That's the plan after the Bills on Thursday announced they are seeking approval to play a preseason game and at least one regular-season game in Toronto. It's part of the franchise's attempt to expand its market base beyond western New York.

"The team hopes to capitalize on the increasing interest of fans in the Canadian market by playing a regular-season game in Toronto," the Bills announced in a release.

The Bills hope to play a preseason game at Toronto next summer, with plans to play a regular-season game as early as 2009. The games would be played at Rogers Center, a downtown stadium with a retractable roof that serves as home to baseball's Blue Jays and the Canadian Football League Argonauts.

PANTHERS -- Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme underwent ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow.

Delhomme decided last week to have the season-ending procedure, which calls for replacing the damaged ligament with a tendon from another part of the body. The 90-minute surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Pat Connor at Carolinas Medical Center.

COWBOYS -- Suspended defensive tackle Tank Johnson will be allowed to practice starting today, which will be his first team session with the Dallas Cowboys since they signed him last month.

Johnson still has two games left on his eight-game NFL suspension for violating probation on a gun charge. Unless the suspension is reduced by Commissioner Roger Goodell, Johnson won't be eligible to play until the Cowboys visit the New York Giants on Nov. 11.

BRONCOS -- Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker will undergo surgery on his right knee today and will be out for "a few weeks," coach Mike Shanahan said.

Walker missed the Broncos' past two games because of swelling, but practiced Monday and Wednesday.

"Javon's not feeling very good," Shanahan said. "He'll get operated on tomorrow in Houston, so he'll be out for a few weeks."

Shanahan didn't have a precise timetable for Walker's return.

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