PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AFC : Hobert to Get First Start for Raiders

Associated Press

Quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, who played in his first NFL game Sunday after relieving Vince Evans, will make the first start of his three-year career Sunday when the slumping Oakland Raiders face the streaking Pittsburgh Steelers.

Starter Jeff Hostetler, who hasn't played since re-injuring his left (non-throwing) shoulder during against Dallas on Nov. 19, was listed as doubtful. Evans, at 40 the league's oldest active player, started the last two games in Hostetler's place.

Hobert relieved Evans in the fourth quarter of the Kansas City game and completed five of 11 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

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Burt Grossman's return engagement with the San Diego Chargers ended after 24 hours because an MRI revealed a herniated disk in his neck.

For breaking a sweat in Tuesday's light practice, the defensive end gets a week's salary of $10,000. That leaves the Chargers only $2,000 to operate with under the salary cap, General Manager Bobby Beathard said.

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For nearly five months, one-time Pro Bowl guard Carlton Haselrig was a model citizen with the New York Jets. Then he disappeared.

Haselrig, 29, hasn't been seen in more than a week. Since Thanksgiving, he has been involved in a traffic accident, fined for reckless driving, suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy and missed a court appearance in Pittsburgh. An arrest warrant was issued Monday in that transgression.

"It's as if he dropped off the face of the earth," said James Ecker, Haselrig's attorney.

"I can't understand it. Who can?" said defensive lineman Donald Evans, Haselrig's closest friend on the team who also leased a car--also missing--for him earlier this season. "He has my phone number and I hope he calls."

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Despite being told that he can't possibly play again next month, Rod Woodson, the Steelers' all-pro cornerback, will have his surgically rebuilt knee examined today in Vail, Colo., by knee specialist Richard Steadman with hopes of returning for the playoffs. "If it doesn't feel good, then I'll leave it to [the other Steelers]," said Woodson, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in September.

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Buffalo Bill quarterback Jim Kelly admitted that he won't make certain passes Sunday because he has been nursing a sore shoulder for the last three weeks.

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