Tuiasosopo preparing to start

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marques Tuiasosopo is taking snaps with
Oakland's first-team offense, and Rich Gannon hasn't thrown a pass
since going down in last Monday night's loss to Kansas City.

Still, the Raiders won't say how badly Gannon is hurt -- despite
reports the quarterback has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder
that could sideline him for several weeks.

"I'll wait until Wednesday to announce it," coach Bill
Callahan said Monday. "We got a lot of good work with Tuiasosopo
today. I have a pretty good feel (about Gannon's health), but again
I want to give Rich until Wednesday. He is a quick healer. We'll
see at that point if he's capable of throwing, if his motion is
functional or not."

Gannon hasn't practiced since getting knocked out of Oakland's
17-10 loss to the Chiefs in the first half following two vicious
sacks by linebacker Shawn Barber and several other hits. Callahan
referred all questions about Gannon's shoulder to the quarterback,
but Gannon wasn't in the locker room Monday.

Tuiasosopo, meanwhile, is preparing to start Sunday at Detroit.

"He's a competitor and he wants to play," the 24-year-old
Tuiasosopo said. "I'm a competitor and I want to play. We
understand our roles. He's still the guy around here, there's no
question about that. This is his team. Until he comes back, I'll be
glad to contribute as much as I can."

The Raiders, reeling at 2-5 after last year's Super Bowl season,
had a three-day weekend off during their bye week and are now
gearing up for the Lions with the hopes of making a solid run in
the second half of the season.

Tuiasosopo, a seldom-used backup in his third NFL season, nearly
led the Raiders to a thrilling comeback against Kansas City, but
came up short in the final seconds. He was 16-for-28 for 224 yards
after replacing Gannon in the second half.

"Marques has been waiting for this opportunity for several
years and I know he's going to make the most of it," offensive
tackle Lincoln Kennedy said.

The 37-year-old Gannon led the Raiders' top-rated offense in the
NFL last season on the way to winning the league MVP award.

"Hopefully, he can get better, and from what I understand he is
getting better," Callahan said. "I'm encouraged by what I hear."