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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Trapp Fined $7,500 for Role in Brawl

January 14, 1994|LONNIE WHITE

Rookie cornerback James Trapp was fined $7,500 by the NFL Thursday for fighting against the Denver Broncos while in street clothes last Sunday.

Trapp was inactive for the game but was in the bench area when fighting broke out in the second quarter. He quickly joined the fray.

The $7,500 fine equals what Trapp would have received for the game.

The NFL said Trapp was also informed that if he is declared inactive for any other postseason games, he will be prohibited from being in the Raiders' bench area or elsewhere at field level. The league also said that any other fines resulting from the fight will be announced next week.

Trapp, who has been inactive the last three weeks because of a groin injury, practiced this week and might play Saturday at Buffalo.

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The last time fullback Steve Smith played at Buffalo, he limped away with an ankle injury that has plagued him since.

Smith, who has rushed for only 156 yards this season and did not carry the ball against Denver, did not practice this week but will play Saturday.

"We're doing the same thing with Smitty that we've done the last five weeks," Coach Art Shell said. "We let him rest during the week and see how he is on (game day). Last week, he came in and played some for us."

With leading rusher Greg Robinson, who also was injured Dec. 5 at Buffalo, at least a week away from returning to the lineup, the Raiders will start Ty Montgomery at tailback and Napoleon McCallum at fullback for the second consecutive game.

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The Raiders seem to have an edge over Buffalo when it comes to special teams. Punter Jeff Gossett averaged 41.8 yards a kick during the regular season and 42.5 in the Raiders' playoff victory over Denver. Buffalo punter Chris Mohr averaged 40.4 during the season, 38.4 in the last two games.

The Raiders' Tim Brown was among the NFL leaders in punt returns with an 11.6 average. Russell Copeland leads Buffalo with an 8.8 average.

Rocket Ismail, who will play despite a neck injury, led the AFC in kickoff returns with a 24.2 average. Copeland led the Bills at 18.2.

The Raiders' biggest edge is in field-goal kicking. Jeff Jaeger led the NFL with 132 points and a league record-tying 35 field goals. The Bills rely on Steve Christie, who had 105 points and 23 field goals.

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Safety Eddie Anderson did not practice this week because of a toe injury but is expected to play Saturday. If he can't, the Raiders will start Ricky Dixon, a six-year veteran who started Super Bowl XXIII for Cincinnati. Rookie safety Patrick Bates, who has not played since Dec. 12 because of a thigh injury, is expected to be activated.

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