Boss to make Raiders debut in Oakland home opener

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ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Tight end Kevin Boss sure has picked the perfect game to make his regular season debut with the Oakland Raiders after sitting out the past two weeks with a knee sprain.

With a rare sold-out crowd for the team's home opener - just the second in the last 16 games at the Coliseum - and a national television audience, Boss expects the atmosphere to equal anything he experienced while playing with the New York Giants.

That it comes against the unbeaten Jets, a team many expect to contend for the AFC title, only makes it better.

"When I heard it was sold out, that was exciting," Boss said Friday. "I'm looking forward to experiencing it firsthand, for sure. It's going to be a great atmosphere. It's a big game for us."

Boss, the Raiders' most significant offseason acquisition, completed a full week of practice for the first time since being injured in a preseason game against San Francisco on Aug. 20. He was cleared by the team's medical staff and is listed as probable on Oakland's injury report.

How much of a factor Boss can be is uncertain - though it's clear the Raiders need him to get up to speed quickly.

They're already without wide receivers Louis Murphy (groin) and Jacoby Ford (hamstring), both of whom have been declared out. Rookie Denarius Moore provided a lift for the passing game with a breakout performance last week in Buffalo and will likely be a focal point for the Jets.

Tight ends accounted for more than 25.8 percent of the completions thrown by Oakland quarterbacks in 2010, including a team-leading 60 receptions by Zach Miller. Miller signed with Seattle as a free agent in the offseason, opening the door for Boss to sign with the Raiders.

This season, quarterback Jason Campbell has completed only four throws to his tight ends - all of them to Brandon Myers.

"We understand it's going to take some time for them to get back," Campbell said of Oakland's injured players. "So it's important for the guys that are making plays right now to continue to make those plays until the other guys can get their feet back under them."

Boss, who has 18 career touchdowns in four seasons, doesn't think that will be an issue.

Although the Raiders offense is different from the one Boss was accustomed to in New York, he stayed busy while recovering from his knee injury by watching hours of videotape from practice and the first two games.

"When you're out you have to stay on top of the game mentally," he said. "Mentally, I feel sharp and physically I'm almost as good as I can get. I'm looking forward to getting out there. It's been too long."

Notes: Coach Hue Jackson again declined to say who will return punts for the Raiders while Ford is out, but it appears the job will be Moore's. He and WR Nick Miller split time with the return unit in practice Friday. ... Rookie CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (knee) is questionable after being limited in practice. ... The foot injury that landed PK Sebastian Janikowski on the injury report earlier in the week seems to have cleared up.


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