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Seattle, Oakland figure to rest starters in finale

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Starters are unlikely to play much in tonight’s preseason finale between the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.

For Seattle, that’s prudent. The Seahawks have lost three-fifths of their starting offensive line and 2007 Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Trufant to injuries already this summer.

For Oakland, that’s merciful.

Who wants to see anything resembling Saturday’s abominable 38-point home loss to New Orleans? Raiders starters got what will be their most extensive action before their games get real on Sept. 14 – and produced the third-worst loss in the 228-game preseason history of the franchise.

Then again, maybe Oakland’s starters deserve to play the whole night, as punishment.

Nope, said coach Tom Cable, who went to high school in the Seattle suburb of Snohomish. He is not changing plans solely because of Saturday’s shellacking.

“I think the significance of it is for this team to come back out and again go at playing Raider football the way we want to play it,” Cable said.

Cable said perhaps three to five roster spots remain open, with the cut down to the regular-season roster of 53 due Saturday.

Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell said the competitor in him wants to play a while, in the name of redemption. Raiders lead running back Darren McFadden wouldn’t mind that.

“I feel like if he puts the starters out there (to) try to redeem themselves, that’s fine,” McFadden said. “If not, we’re gonna keep on moving on. It’s something that’s gonna linger on you as a person, anyway.”

Seattle’s lingering problem remains injuries. Seven of them to wide receivers, a bulging disk inside quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s back and injuries to all five offensive linemen doomed Seattle to a 4-12 record in 2008 – its worst season since 1992.

Hasselbeck’s healthy again. But nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones is out indefinitely following his second knee surgery in eight months. Left guard Mike Wahle retired after his surgically repaired shoulder failed a training camp physical. Center Chris Spencer tore a quadriceps muscle and remains out.

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