Two weeks ago, Gary Russell was an out-of-work running back, hanging out with his children. An injury suffered by running back Darren McFadden prompted a call from the Raiders for a second go-round.
On Sunday, Russell played fullback for the first time in his three-year NFL career and delivered a handful of plays that many credited with playing a key role in the Raiders' 13-9 upset of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Man, oh, man, he gave us a lot of explosiveness in there and knocked some guys around in there pretty good," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "He was able to seal a couple of run lanes and caught the ball well."
Russell caught all five passes thrown his way, including three in the fourth quarter. One netted 18 yards and set up a Raiders field goal. His final reception turned a third-and-10 situation into a Raiders first down and enabled them to run out the clock.
"Those are game-changing plays," Raiders running back Michael Bush said of Russell's heroics. "On that last drive, where we needed a first down to end the game, he came through. That was impressive."
The Raiders released Russell in the roster cutdown to 53 on Sept. 5. He converted to fullback last week on the heels of a season-ending ankle injury to Oren O'Neal and an ankle injury to backup Luke Lawton.
"We're expecting a sellout this week, Raider Nation," Howard said. "You guys know that we're expecting a sellout. "... Show up early. We don't want (any) blackouts. We want it sold out by Thursday. So, I'm calling the fans out a little bit."
"I felt a lot better (Monday) than I did last week," Gallery said of his latest workout. "So it's definitely progress, and I wouldn't say (Nov. 1 at San Diego) is out. If I make the progress I did this week, who knows about next week?"