ALAMEDA, Calif. (April 24, 2005) -- Raiders coach Norv Turner hinted that Rich Gannon's career is over in Oakland, raising doubt the quarterback will play again after a serious neck injury.
"Rich hasn't come out and publicly made any statements, but from a physical standpoint, it would be very difficult for him to play," Turner said.
Turner said that Gannon, who turns 40 in December, will not attend the team's mandatory minicamp next weekend and will be the only player not to participate. Turner expects no announcement before June 1 because of salary cap constraints.
Gannon, the NFL's 2002 MVP, fractured a vertebra in his neck in the third week last season in a helmet-to-helmet collision with Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks.
Gannon, who went on injured reserve for the second straight year following consultations with four of the nation's top neck and spine specialists, still attended meetings and games, determined to help his teammates any way possible.
Gannon was hurt in a 17-10 loss to Kansas City on Oct. 20, 2003, and had shoulder surgery that November.
Gannon has passed for 28,743 yards and 180 touchdowns in 18 NFL seasons with Minnesota, Washington, Kansas City and Oakland. He won his MVP award while leading the Raiders to the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, passing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing more than 67 percent of his passes.