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Raiders : Injuries May Sideline Dalby for 49er Game

Times Staff Writer

The much-speculated-upon day of the third Raider center appeared to move closer, with Coach Tom Flores suggesting that Dave Dalby’s injuries may sideline him Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

If Dalby doesn’t start, Don Mosebar will.

If Dalby doesn’t start, it will be the first time since opening day, 1975, when he took over for Jim Otto. Otto, a Hall of Famer, started every Raider game from their first one (a 37-22 loss to the Houston Oilers before 12,703 at Kezar Stadium, Sept. 11, 1960) until then.

“The only injury we’ve got right now is Dalby’s toe and ankle,” Flores said Monday. “He had a sore ankle going in (to the Kansas City game) and he got a turf toe in the game. We X-rayed it, and the X-rays were negative.

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“He was the only one who couldn’t practice Saturday. If he can’t go, obviously we’ll go with Mosebar.”

The move has been talked about since training camp, when Flores started issuing good reports on Mosebar’s switch to center.

Mosebar, a starting guard last season, is considered one of the Raiders’ top young offensive linemen. At his listed 6-6, 260, he’d be one of the largest men to ever line up at center. And the Raiders have noted the increasing size of opposing nose tackles.

One of them, 6-5, 265-pound Bill Maas of Kansas City, had two sacks last Thursday, causing a Jim Plunkett fumble at the Raider 6 on one of them. They’ll face another sumo wrestler, Michael Carter, the 49ers’ 6-2, 285-pound Olympic shotput silver medalist, this week.

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And Flores on the offensive line’s run-blocking (67 yards in 23 carries) at Kansas City:

“We didn’t execute well, obviously. . . . They did change fronts, which they hadn’t shown before. They went to a four-man line, and it took us a little while to adjust. It wasn’t anything we should have had problems with. Then the second half, we just let the game get away with our own errors.

“It (the four-man line) shouldn’t have been the determining factor, let’s put it that way.”

The 49ers, defending Super Bowl champions, are coming off an upset loss in Minnesota and a comeback win at home over the Atlanta Falcons, who led them, 10-0, at the half.

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Flores on the problems a champion faces:

“The one thing that is quite obvious is the way everybody plays you. Everybody plays you a lot tougher. They’re all pointing for the game. They’re all going to prove they’re a good football team.

“Looking at some of the games we played last year (when the Raiders were defending champs), some of the comments in the newspapers: ‘We’re going to find out how good we are, playing the champions.’

“That holds true not only for champions. Teams like Miami, ourselves, whenever they go someplace, it seems like it’s a big game. I know going into Kansas City, they were all fired up. The Raiders were coming to town. They’re saying, ‘We just had a good game (the Chiefs’ opening rout of the Saints), we’ll find out how good we are.”

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They weren’t bad.


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