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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Skrepenak Finally Gets Big Chance

October 21, 1994|STEVE SPRINGER

Greg Skrepenak was crushed.

After starting 48 consecutive games at Michigan, the offensive lineman had waited 2 1/2 seasons as a pro to make the starting lineup. He had endured a major leg injury that cost him a season. He had endured the indignity of watching one big name after another join the team and move ahead of him.

Now, it appeared he had his chance. On Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, offensive left tackle Gerald Perry fractured a bone above his right ankle, an injury that will sideline him from four to six games.

Skrepenak had been working out at left tackle. So the job was his, right?

Instead, Robert Jenkins mentioned to Skrepenak that he, Jenkins, had been told the job was his .

"I was a little disappointed," said the 24-year-old Skrepenak, now in his third year as a Raider after being drafted in the second round.

But the disappointment didn't last long.

Coach Art Shell quickly elated Skrepenak by informing him that starting right tackle Bruce Wilkerson was being benched, to be replaced by Skrepenak.

Skrepenak's joy, however, was tempered.

"I'm very happy," he said, "but Bruce and I are friends. One man's misfortune is another man's good fortune. I feel bad, but I've just got to take advantage of the opportunity.

"Bruce is in a slump. We all go through it.'

*

Receiver/kick returner Rocket Ismail, who suffered a concussion last Sunday, practiced and is expected to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

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