MIAMI — The hit looked innocent enough. It didn't appear any more violent or dangerous than the previous 15 Raiders running back LaMont Jordan had endured in the first half Sunday. Only this one proved far more devastating.

Jordan took a short pass from Daunte Culpepper late in the second quarter, turned upfield and went down in the arms of Miami Dolphins linebacker Donnie Spragan. The tackler jumped to his feet. Jordan stayed down. For a long time.

Jordan finally was helped to his feet by two Raiders medical personnel and helped from the field, with an arm wrapped around the shoulders of each trainer. He then was placed on a motorized cart and shuttled off the field with a back injury.

"We do not know the severity of it," Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said after the game.

It didn't look good at the time, and it looked even worse afterward. Jordan was on crutches in the locker room and moving around rather gingerly. He declined comment.

Jordan has missed several days of practice the past two weeks with back pain. However, he has recovered well enough to start the subsequent games.

Before his injury Sunday, Jordan rushed 15 times for 74 yards and caught the one pass. His injury leaves the Raiders without a lead back. Fortunately for the Raiders, Dominic Rhodes' four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy ended Sunday, and he is eligible to be activated today.

Therefore, the Raiders can use Rhodes in place of Jordan and keep Justin Fargas, Justin Griffith and Adimchinobe Echemandu in the roles they have occupied the first four games. Fargas rushed for a career-high 179 yards Sunday.

Sure, Rhodes returns with fresh legs and a body that hasn't absorbed a hit since Oakland's exhibition finale Aug. 30. However, there's also the matter of his being in game-ready condition and in tune with Oakland's new blocking scheme.

Losing Jordan likely would be a severe blow. He entered Sunday's game second in the league in rushing at 350 yards. He has averaged 106 through four games. He also has caught 12 passes for 128 yards.

DOLPHINS FANS GET UGLY: A group of Dolphins fans took out their anger on the Raiders for manhandling their team by pelting the Raiders buses with rocks and bottles as they departed Dolphin Stadium after the game.

A bottle shattered a window on the fourth of six Raiders buses, with the glass falling inside on the occupants, according to a Raiders team official who requested anonymity.

The damage was severe enough that the bus driver deemed the bus unsafe for travel, ordered the occupants off the bus and onto the five other buses. This happened in the presence of a police escort, without the main assailant being caught.

The five buses eventually made it out of the parking lot but not without being drilled by an assortment of objects, the team official said. No one was injured.

PEELLE SHINES AGAIN: Dublin High graduate Justin Peelle has made a habit of tormenting the Raiders, first with the San Diego Chargers and now with the Dolphins. He was at it again Sunday.

Peelle turned a short pass on a fourth-and-3 play in the second quarter into a 35-yard gain and a first down at the Raiders 9-yard line. The Dolphins scored their first touchdown on the next play.

"We had good schemes in a bunch of plays," Peelle said, "but for whatever reason, we just could not put enough points on the board."

Peelle later scored the Dolphins' second touchdown, this one on a 3-yard pass from Trent Green late in the third quarter. Overall, Peelle had three receptions for 45 yards. He entered Sunday's game with only three receptions for 15 yards and one touchdown.

"It was an area where we thought we could expose them, and we did," Peelle said of his touchdown reception. "I got in, but I wish it would have happened in a winning game."

Peelle has made the Raiders his favorite whipping team during his six-year career. In 2003, he recorded his first career touchdown reception against the Raiders. In 2004, he posted the longest-scoring play of his career, a 17-yarder against the Raiders. In 2005, he caught three passes, including one for a touchdown, against the Raiders. 

DID YOU KNOW? The Raiders snapped a 12-game road losing streak. Their previous victory away from McAfee Coliseum came Nov. 20, 2005, against the Washington Redskins.

The Raiders (2-2) are in first place in the AFC West for the first time since they were 2-1 in 2004 season.

The 35 points scored by the Raiders on Sunday is their highest total since they scored 38 against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 23, 2005, a span of 30 games.

LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN: Who says lightning doesn't strike twice? OK, so it doesn't strike in the same place, but it appears to follow the Raiders these days.

On Sunday, the Raiders were forced to the locker room at a road game for the second time this season. Torrential rains started several minutes before the 1:05 p.m. kickoff. Frequent lightning strikes and numerous claps of thunder made their presence felt a few minutes later.

That prompted league officials to order a suspension of play before the opening kickoff, at 1:01 p.m.

The teams retreated to their respective locker rooms and stayed there for 30 minutes, until the lightning and thunder subsided.

"We're used to that," Kiffin said, with a smile. "We did that in Denver."

The Raiders had a similar thing happen to them one play into the second quarter of their Sept. 16 game against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High. That suspension lasted 25 minutes.

EXTRA POINTS: Raiders outside linebacker Thomas Howard recorded an interception for the third straight game. ... Cornerback Stanford Routt notched his second this season. Overall, the Raiders have eight in four games. ... The Dolphins had beaten the Raiders in their past six regular-season meetings before Sunday's loss. The Raiders snuck in a playoff-game victory in the midst of that streak. .. Raiders wide receiver Mike Williams had a touchdown reception negated by his pass interference penalty in the first quarter. He also celebrated in the middle of a Justin Fargas 48-yard run and received an earful from Kiffin as he left the field. ... Quarterback Josh McCown (toe), defensive end Derrick Burgess (calf), linebacker Robert Thomas (hamstring) and fullback Oren O'Neal (hamstring) were among the players deactivated by the Raiders.

Four games in the books. A bye week to let it all sink in. Send us your opinions on the Raiders. Include your first/last name and your city, and send comments (50-100 words) to Turn2@angnewspapers.com.