Sports

Raiders Notes: Report of Russell starting is news to Oakland coach

MINNEAPOLIS -- An ESPN report Sunday morning had rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell slated to start for the Raiders in their home game against Denver on Dec. 2.

That was interesting considering Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, if he's going to make a switch, often doesn't name a starting quarterback until the Wednesday before a game.

"That's a premature report," Kiffin said. "It's news to me, at least."

The report cited unnamed sources that said Russell's weight was down to 259 pounds and that a "light" came on in the last couple of weeks.

Kiffin has said he would prefer Russell's first start to be at home. The Raiders are at Kansas City this Sunday.

Russell hasn't played this season. He missed training camp and didn't sign with the Raiders until Week 2 after prolonged contract talks.

JORDAN IS INACTIVE -- A special teams player is worth more than LaMont Jordan to the Raiders these days.

That's the message after Jordan, who was the Raiders' leading rusher and off to the best start of his career before being benched in favor of Justin Fargas, was deactivated Sunday.

Jordan was 20th in the NFL with 521 yards rushing going into Sunday's game at Minnesota, a 29-22 loss, even though he didn't play last week. Jordan has 97 yards in the past four games in which he has played.

"Like I was told, it's not about yards," Jordan said. "I'm in the position that I'm in because I haven't been performing. So that's just it."

Kiffin said Jordan isn't injured; rather, the team had to fill a void before the game.

Linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (ankle) didn't play, so Sam Williams was activated.

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