NFL notes: Life isn't fair to Campbell

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

TORONTO - The premise that things can happen real quick in the world of sport will get no argument from Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell.

On Oct. 16, Campbell started the day and the late afternoon game against the Cleveland Browns as the Raiders’ starting quarterback on an Oakland team that was among the early surprises of the season.

But as they say, things happen.

In the game against the Browns, Campbell suffered a shoulder injury, an injury that will knock him out for a minimum of six weeks if not the rest of the regular season.

To shore up the void, the Raiders went out and traded for veteran Carson Palmer who had been sitting on the sidelines at home after the Cincinnati Bengals were unable to accommodate his request for a trade.

With a contract that expires at the end of the 2011 season and with the Raiders having invested so heavily to acquire Palmer, it appears there will be no job for Campbell to come back to once he recovers from his injury.

And once he does, Campbell said he won’t be coming back as anybody’s backup.

“I’m a starter in this league,” Campbell told CSN Bay Area. “Definitely. I look around the league and I play at a higher level than most guys. I’m definitely a starter.

“I’m not ready to accept being in a backup role. I’ve come too far and done too much and I feel like I’m still pressing on and I haven’t even done my best yet.”

Given the dearth of legitimate quarterbacks in the league, Campbell may have a point.

Next year he’ll get to prove it — just not in Oakland.

RAVENS BRUSH IT OFF

In Baltimore, the fans of the Ravens are still dry-heaving after watching the pitiful performance turned in by the team in general and offence in particular in Monday’s stunning loss to Jacksonville.

The Ravens, who are home on Sunday against the 1-5 Arizona Cardinals have a message for their fans — get over it, turn the page and move on.

“You get sick to your stomach when you play games like that, and you can’t move the ball and things don’t work out your way,” quarterback Joe Flacco told reporters. “But, that’s part of being an NFL football player, moving on to the next week.”

The Ravens blew a game against a weak opponent but they aren’t about to dwell on it.

“Today was a great day because you know what? Last week’s done,” running back Ray Rice said after practice. “It felt good to get out there, run around and get a sweat. I would be worried if this was Week 14 in the season and we dropped a game. We’re 4-2 with the whole season ahead of us.”

The Ravens may be feeling positive vibes due to the fact they get to play at home where they are 3-0 this season having beaten Pittsburgh 35-7, the New York Jets 34-17 and the Houston Texans 29-14.

“The thing that I’ve tried to tell the guys this week is the season is so long, the journey is so long,” veteran linebacker Ray Lewis said. “Stop putting all your eggs in one basket. We’ve never been the team that put all our eggs in one basket. You have one bad game? Brush it off.”

Even head coach John Harbaugh got into the act.

“You can’t afford to let games slip between your fingers,” he said. “By the same token, everybody gets beat in this league. Everybody gets humiliated, everybody gets the snot kicked out of them at one time or another in life and in football. So, you have to get back up and go to work.”

In Baltimore, the theme is simple — Don’t worry, be happy.

RAMS LOOK LIKE ROAD KILL FOR SAINTS

There’s not a lot of positive news going on in St. Louis these days, at least not if you happen to be a fan of the Rams.

They are home on Sunday which is a good thing but the 0-6 team gets to suit up against the New Orleans Saints who last week crushed the hapless Indianapolis Colts 72-7.

And just like last week when they were hammered 34-7 by the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams will have to make do without quarterback Sam Bradford who is out with an injury to his left ankle.

Nothing is official at this point but there has been little change, not much in the way of encouraging developments in his recovery.

“It did feel much better today than when we put it in the cast on Saturday,” Bradford said the other day. “The pain and soreness that I woke up with on Saturday is gone.”

The pain may be subsiding but Bradford remains unable to practise and is on the sidelines in a protective boot.

“We’re not going to put weight on it or do any bouncing around until it feels right,” head coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

The Rams would be better served to rest Bradford rather than risk further injury, especially given the fact that they finally will be heading into the softer part of their schedule.

Following Sunday’s game against the Saints, the Rams get Arizona, Cleveland, Seattle and Arizona a second time. Despite the fact they are winless, they could win all four of those games and turn their season around.

If Bradford can’t go, A.J. Feeley will be making his second consecutive start.

WAR OF WORDS

First the words, then the war.

That’s the way it goes in the wonderful world of the NFL.

You’d think that a matchup featuring the Dallas Cowboys going against the Philadelphia Eagles would be enough of a draw on its own but in this day and age of bluster and trash talk, a little bit of chirping never hurts.

Even if it happens to be several months old.

Way back in August during training camp, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan referred to the Eagles as “the all-hype team.”

His actual quote was: “I don’t know if we win the all-hype team. That might have gone to someone else, but we’re going to beat their ass when we play them.”

Well, that day just happens to be Sunday.

Back in August, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was told about Ryan’s comments and he took the bait.

“I felt that was inappropriate, but he is going to have to deal with us and he’s going to have to find solutions just like everyone else,” Vick said. “We don’t talk. We go about our business the right way. Maybe we’ll make him eat his words. I hope he (can) back it up.”

Vick also said he was “so upset, I indirectly tweeted to the world: People who talk the talk need to walk the walk.”

When reminded of his comments the other day, Vick tried to walk them back.

“We know it’s a competitive game,” Vick said. “Sometimes people say things that they regret days, weeks or months later. I think from a competitive standpoint, he was just talking. It was nothing that we really paid any attention to because we know what really counts is when you step onto the football field and whoever wins or loses the game. That’s what matters.”

Vick may have softened his tone but not Cowboys linebacker Bradie James.

After practice he went to Ryan and said: “‘Look Rob, we got your back. I know you’re going to be up all night long.’

“He put it out there and we got to go play.”

Just play the game — there’s a concept.


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