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Walter to start for Oakland, Russell third QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Its official: JaMarcus Russell is the emergency quarterback for the Oakland Raiders today against the Carolina Panthers. Andrew Walter will start for Oakland.

Russell's playing status took a sudden turn when he missed the last eight plays of practice. Interim Oakland coach Tom Cable said Russell was taken off the practice field for precautionary reasons while dealing with a bout of tendonitis, a condition he dealt with at LSU.

Russell didn't practice Friday and Sunday he was made the third quarterback.

If Oakland loses to the Panthers, they will fall to 2-7. Would it be worth it to Oakland to force a gimpy Russell onto the field, especially since he has been struggling lately?

On the flip side, if Walter, a former starter who had a good preseason in 2008, leads the Raiders to an upset win over the Panthers, fans will be calling for him to play. That would be the wrong direction.

Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007 and the fourth highest paid player in the NFL this season, needs to play. He needs to show he can be a quality NFL quarterback, which he has yet to do.

Meanwhile, Oakland rookie tailback Darren McFadden will miss his third straight game with turf toe injuries on both feet. McFadden has been bothered by the injury since Week 2.