Raiders QB Gannon out at least six weeks with neck injury

Updated: September 27, 2004, 4:53 PM ET
SportsTicker

ALAMEDA, California -- The Oakland Raiders are sure glad they signed Kerry Collins as an insurance policy.

After having his 2003 season shortened by a shoulder injury, Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon will miss at least six weeks with a broken vertebra in his neck.

Gannon suffered this injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker Derrick Brooks in the first half of Sunday night's 30-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"He (Gannon) will be out an extended period," Raiders coach Norv Turner said Monday. "It's a six-week deal, or maybe longer."

The 38-year-old Gannon scrambled up the middle for a two-yard gain before he was hit by Brooks. Gannon grimaced in pain and appeared groggy as he walked off the field.

Collins played the rest of the way and directed four scoring drives, completing 16-of-27 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown with an interception.

"That's a big reason we did what we did in the offseason," Turner said of Oakland's decision to sign Collins as a free agent after he was released by the New York Giants.

When Collins signed, it was believed the Raiders would release Gannon for salary cap purposes. But Oakland kept both and Gannon retained his starting role.

The 2002 NFL Most Valuable Player and a three-time Pro Bowler, Gannon has completed 41-of-68 passes for 524 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions this season.

The 31-year-old Collins played in 71 games with the Giants and ranked second in team history in completions (1,447) and third in passing yards (16,875). He started 67 straight games before an ankle injury forced him to miss the final three games last season, when he completed 57 percent of his passes for 3,110 yards and 13 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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