Limps In, Struts Out

A scowling Arnaz Battle walked gingerly into the locker room after pregame warm-ups, looking as though his knee was bothering him, as it often does.

The wide receiver did play, but on the first pass thrown his way, he didn’t break back toward the ball, which allowed Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt to steal the pass away for an interception.

It also led to further speculation that Battle wasn’t quite right.

Then Battle made a diving 4-yard touchdown reception and then the catch of the day, a leaping snare over Routt in the second quarter. He clutched another pass in the third quarter on 3rd-and-goal from the Raiders 6, and alertly reached over the goal line for the touchdown.

It looked as if Battle’s knee touched the ground and the ball broke the plane of the end zone at the same time. The Raiders didn’t call for a review.

“I knew it was close,” Battle said. “If the referees signal touchdown, I’m going with it.”

As for limping before the game, that might just be standard procedure.

“Ah, no, I wasn’t hobbling,” Battle maintained. “I try not to do too much before the game, because I do a lot of moving around.”

[San Francisco Chronicle]

~ by O9 Productions on October 9, 2006.

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