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Oakland Loses Bruce, Kennedy to Injuries

July 23, 1996

NAPA, Calif. (AP) _ Just when it appeared the Oakland Raiders plugged holes on their front lines, key injuries have created new ones.

The Raiders learned Tuesday they will be without defensive end Aundray Bruce for up to four weeks because of a sprained right ankle, while offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy will be sidelined two weeks by a torn left bicep.

Both injuries occurred during a scrimmage Monday night.

To complicate matters, offensive tackle Willie Williams, who signed as a free agent last week, announced his retirement Tuesday.

``That leaves us a little short at tackle,″ coach Mike White said.

For Bruce, the injury will keep him out of practice for the first time in his nine-year NFL career. He hopes to return for an Aug. 2 exhibition game against the Arizona Cardinals.

``It’s the first time I’ve ever been injured,″ said Bruce, who had a plastic walking cast around his ankle. ``It’s not something I’ve had to deal with before. I can tell you I don’t plan to be out four weeks. I should be running smoothly for the Cardinals game. What is that? Two weeks?″

Bruce, the No. 1 pick in the 1988 draft by the Atlanta Falcons, had 30 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks last season.

Kennedy, a former No. 1 pick acquired in a trade with Atlanta, also hopes to return to action sooner than initial predictions.

``I’ll be back in the lineup as soon as possible,″ Kennedy said. ``I don’t like to sit on the bench. If there’s any way to be on the field, and productive, I’ll be there.″

In addition to Bruce, Kennedy and Williams, linebackers Greg Biekert, who is nursing a stiff back, and Keith Franklin, with a lower back problem, will be unavailable for the game at Dallas on Saturday. Running back Calvin Jones (ankle) and tackle Jeff Kysar (foot) are questionable. Receiver James Jett (hamstring) and defensive end Austin Robbins (hip) are probable.

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