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PRO FOOTBALL REPORT : WEEKDAY UPDATE : RAIDERS : Esiason Says He’ll Probably Play Sunday

Cincinnati Bengal quarterback Boomer Esiason is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Raiders at the Coliseum because of a groin injury, but Esiason said his condition was improved Wednesday.

“I’m a little more optimistic today than I was on Monday,” he said. “I can only hope that it keeps getting better and better and better.”

Will he start?

“Most of us football players, when it comes time to play, aren’t very smart,” Esiason said. “So I would imagine, being as dumb as I am, I’ll probably end up playing.”

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The Raiders have no doubts that Esiason will play.

“If Boomer Esiason comes on the sidelines in street clothes, then I’ll say he won’t play,” Raider Coach Art Shell said. “But until that time, we’ll prepare for Boomer Esiason.”

The Raiders moved tackle/defensive tackle Tim Rother from injured reserve to the practice squad. . . . The Raiders, already assured of their first winning season since 1985, could clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Bengals. . . . There are no Raider injuries listed. The Bengals are reporting Esiason and running back Craig Taylor (ankle) as questionable, running backs James Brooks (shoulder), Ickey Woods (ribs) and Harold Green (shoulder) and safety David Fulcher (back) as probable.


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