Jerry Rice is having a hard time admitting his career with the Oakland Raiders could be over.
"If something goes down, it's probably going to go down [today]," Rice said Sunday after Oakland's 31-3 loss to the Denver Broncos. "I really have enjoyed playing here."
Rice, 42, asked the Raiders for a trade last week, but said he hasn't asked owner Al Davis to release him. On Sunday, the most prolific receiver in NFL history failed to catch a pass for the third time this season -- he didn't even get one thrown his way.
With the trade deadline looming Tuesday, Rice seemed incredibly conflicted after the game, alternately talking in the past, present and future tenses about his time with the Raiders.
"The fans are always chanting my name, I guess because what I've accomplished over the years," said Rice, who played 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. "Like I tell people, my blood is silver and black right now. I still put the uniform on and wear it with pride. I feel like I'm a part of what's going on, but I just want to do a little bit more and help this team turn this around.
"This week I think everybody's going to realize what's going to go down.... I have great memories here in the Bay Area. I'm not saying I'm leaving. I just don't know right now."
During Sunday's loss, Rice yanked on his chin strap late in the second quarter and flapped his arm toward the field in annoyance when Alvis Whitted went in instead of him. Moments later, he could be seen complaining to receivers coach Fred Biletnikoff on the sideline.
"Today was a hard day to swallow -- not going out there and being productive, and not being competitive, and not putting up a fight to win this football game," he said. "I'm not going to get into what's going on with me, but I wanted to play in this football game and it just didn't happen. I just want to play. I want to be involved. I want to be a part of it. I want to have opportunities."
Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington struggled to a 101-yard passing performance in a 38-10 loss to Green Bay and heard about it from Lion fans. But playing against Brett Favre helped Harrington keep things in perspective.
"If they're going to boo the best active quarterback in the game at Lambeau Field, a guy who has taken them to Super Bowls, they'll boo anywhere," Harrington said. "Do I think it's right? No. Can I change it? No."
Pittsburgh's 24-20 come-from-behind victory at Dallas excited many Steeler faithful. Pittsburgh fans sprinkled throughout Texas Stadium waved their signature "Terrible Towels" after every first down and key play.
"For a minute there I thought we were in Pittsburgh," said Cowboy linebacker Dexter Coakley. "It felt like it was a home game for them."
Former USC quarterback Carson Palmer, now the starter for the Cincinnati Bengals, certainly hasn't lost hope concerning the potential of his team despite a 34-17 loss to Cleveland.
"I am shocked," Palmer said of the loss. "Not to take anything away from the Browns, but I think that's a team we can beat. I'm shocked to be 1-4."
Washington running back Clinton Portis had 36 carries, including 21 in the first half of a 13-10 victory over Chicago, and it was exactly the way he wanted it.
"I told Coach [Joe] Gibbs, 'Do you see my tongue hanging out?' He said, 'No.' I told him to run me until my tongue did hang out," Portis said.
Former Bill running back O.J. Simpson was spotted in a private suite at Ralph Wilson Stadium watching Buffalo's 20-13 victory over the visiting Miami Dolphins. It was not reported whose private suite he was using.
Sunday's key injuries....
* Pittsburgh nose tackle Casey Hampton and cornerback Chad Scott suffered similar knee injuries and could be lost for the season, according to Coach Bill Cowher.
* Minnesota Viking receiver Randy Moss left the game against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter because of a pulled right hamstring.
* Chicago defensive end Adewale Ogunleye left the game against Washington in the third quarter because of a sprained ankle.
* The Tennessee Titans lost tight end Shad Meier to an emergency appendectomy hours before kickoff. During the game, running back Chris Brown suffered a shoulder injury.
* Carolina defensive end Mike Rucker left after the first series against Philadelphia because of an irregular heartbeat.
* San Diego lost receiver Reche Caldwell after he hurt his right knee in the first quarter at Atlanta. Defensive end Dave Ball went out because of a toe injury.