Injured Raiders return to practice

Jan. 23, 2003 at 10:51 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson, center Barret Robbins and outside linebacker Eric Barton returned to practice Thursday and received high marks from Coach Bill Callahan.

All three starters are listed as questionable for Super Bowl XXXVII and missed practice on Wednesday.

"Everybody who was out of practice yesterday or limited got good work in today," Callahan said after the Raiders conducted a two-hour, 17-minute workout without pads at the San Diego Chargers' facility two miles north of Qualcomm Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XXXVII.

Woodson, a four-time Pro Bowler, underwent surgery to repair a broken left fibula in late December but played in postseason wins over the New York Jets and Tennessee.

Robbins, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time this season, is bothered by a left foot injury. Barton, who recorded 124 tackles and six sacks, has a strained left calf.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put on the pads for their practice session Thursday at the University of California-San Diego.

"I was very pleased with the energy today," Bucs Coach Jon Gruden said. "We challenged the team to bring it to the field today and they did that."

The Bucs learned after practice that quarterback Brad Johnson had been named to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons.

"That was the last thing on my mind," Johnson said of his Pro Bowl berth. "My one goal I wrote down this year was to make the Super Bowl. So my dream and quest has come true. Now to finish it is to win it."

Both teams had some unwelcome visitors. Two spectators, hidden in bushes, were watching a portion of the Bucs' practice when they were spotted by security guards surrounding the perimeter of the field and were told to leave.

There did not appear to be an increased security presence at practice for the Raiders, despite the fact that two reporters watched parts of Wednesday's workout from a high hill overlooking the facility.

Several non-uniformed people were spotted watching Thursday afternoon's workout, but a league official said he believed they were probably tenants of the two police buildings that partially overlook the Chargers complex.

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