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NFL notebook: Injuries to Raider fullbacks may give Manase Tonga an opportunity

Published: Friday, Oct. 7 2011 10:03 p.m. MDT

In this Oct. 3, 2010 file photo, Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (92) heads to the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Ravens signed Ngata to a five-year, $61-million contract on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. His agent, Mike McCartney, said Ngata will get $40 million in the first two years of the deal. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Associated Press

Raiders fullback Manase Tonga finished practice, took a shower and then added a new twist to his Friday routine — packing a suitcase for the team's trip to Houston.

Tonga is Oakland's only healthy fullback and could make his NFL debut against the Texans the way things are going.

Starter Marcel Reece is questionable with a lingering ankle injury and backup Richard Gordon already has been ruled out with a broken hand.

That forced coach Hue Jackson to be creative in practice this week and opened the door for Tonga, who is on the Raiders' practice squad for a second straight season after staring at BYU.

"Things are looking good, but I don't want to count my chickens before the eggs hatch," Tonga said before getting on a bus for the short ride to the Oakland airport. "I just have to make sure I'm ready."

NGATA FINED: Baltimore All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been fined $15,000 for lowering his helmet into the back of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Ngata was one of four players fined that amount by the NFL on Friday for rough hits.

Washington linebackers Rob Jackson and Perry Riley were disciplined for their play against St. Louis. Jackson was fined for driving Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to the ground. Also, Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour has been fined $7,500 for each of two hits.

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