OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jerry Porter's 2006 stats line: one
catch, 19 yards.
The Raiders receiver played for the first time all season
Sunday, only four days after Oakland cut his four-game suspension
"I just made a decision, a coach's decision,'' coach Art Shell
said. "He caught a big pass for us. He did OK. I have to watch the
tape, but he made one big play and I'm very happy with that.''
Shell called Porter's number for the Raiders' first play of the
second quarter, using him in the slot alongside Randy Moss.
Quarterback Andrew Walter threw his way on second down, but the
pass was incomplete.
Porter also came out for the next series and made a 19-yard
reception over the middle that gave Oakland first-and-goal on the
4, setting up Sebastian Janikowski's 19-yard field goal that gave
Oakland a 10-6 halftime lead.
Porter, who declined to talk to reporters afterward, received a
warm ovation from the sellout crowd after the catch and high-fived
a couple of teammates before running to the sideline. That was
quite a contrast from his first preseason game, when the fans booed
him following his first reception.
Walter threw an interception in the fourth quarter on a ball
headed Porter's way.
Porter was suspended for four games Oct. 15 for insubordination a
day after being kicked out of practice by Shell.
The NFL Players Association appealed the suspension the
following week, calling it "excessive.'' The NFLPA and the league
agreed Wednesday to reduce the suspension to two games.
Porter, Oakland's leading receiver a year ago, clashed with
Shell shortly after the coach was hired in February and publicly
demanded a trade at the start of training camp.
Oakland struggled offensively without Porter, losing its first
five games before breaking through with a 22-9 victory last week
Porter led the Raiders with 76 catches last season and had 942
yards receiving and five touchdown receptions. The previous season,
he had a team-high 64 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns --
falling just short of his first 1,000-yard season. He scored three
touchdowns in a game twice.
After the 2004 season, Porter said he wanted to return to the
Raiders, but wanted a big-money deal. A second-round pick out of
West Virginia in 2000, he was re-signed in February of 2005 to a
five-year deal worth $20 million. Moss agreed to a deal with the
Raiders the next day and was traded by the Minnesota Vikings to Oakland.