Torn ACL puts Raiders FB Griffith on shelf for rest of season

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The bad news from the Oakland Raiders' blowout loss at Baltimore carried over into Monday with the news that starting fullback Justin Griffith would need season-ending surgery on his knee.

Griffith tore the ACL in his right knee late in the third quarter of a 29-10 loss to the Ravens. He stayed in the game for a few plays and managed to score Oakland's only touchdown on a 2-yard catch. He was hit hard by Ray Lewis on the play and knocked out of the game.

An MRI on Monday determined the severity of the injury. Oakland will place Griffith on injured reserve and look to sign another fullback.

"You lose a terrific person, a lot of leadership," coach Tom Cable said. "He's solid as a rock. He comes to work every day. He does things to the best of his ability every opportunity he gets. Someone who's familiar with the system. You're losing quite a bit there."

The only healthy fullback on the roster is Luke Lawton, who has mostly played special teams after being brought in late in training camp when Oren O'Neal went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Lawton played in 11 games last season for the Colts at running back and on special teams. He had five rushes for 13 yards and four receptions for 29 yards, including a one-yard reception against Jacksonville on Dec. 2 for his lone career touchdown. Lawton also played four games for the New York Jets in 2005.

Cable said moving tailback Michael Bush to fullback, a position he worked at briefly in training camp, was an option, but that the team would probably have to bring someone in this week.