For a total of 100 days, we'll take a look at the men who have played for the Raiders jersey number by jersey number. This series will highlight some of the greatest players in NFL history. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Some players are superstitious about their jersey number. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.
|FB Jon Ritchie. AP Photo.|
Not many players have worn jersey No. 40 in Raiders history, but the men who have certainly made their mark in more ways than one.
Bo Roberson – WR – 1962-65
One of the first true speedsters to wear a Raiders uniform, Roberson won the silver medal in the long jump at the 1960 Olympics. After a year with the Chargers, Roberson played in 48 games for Oakland. He caught 113 passes for 1,834 yards and 7 touchdowns. Roberson also carried the ball 110 times for 309 yards and 3 TDs, returned 3 punts for 54 yards and returned 113 kickoffs for 2,791 yards and a touchdown. He is the second-leading kickoff returner in team history. Roberson was acquired by Buffalo during the 1965 season and finished his AFL career with a season with Miami.
Pete Banaszak – FB – 1966-78
Selected in the 5th round of the 1966 AFL Draft, Banaszak played in 173 games with 31 starts. He gained 3,772 yards on 964 carries with 47 TDs. He also caught 121 passes for 1,022 yards and 5 scores. He even returned 23 kickoffs for 351 yards. Banaszak was a key member of the Raiders Super Bowl XI championship team and was a central figure in the play that became known as the Holy Roller. He is the 6th leading rusher in team history.
Rick Berns – RB – 1982-83
Berns joined the Raiders after two years with Tampa Bay. He played in 18 games and gained 22 yards on 6 carries. He was a member of the Raiders Super Bowl XVIII championship team.
Zeph Lee – DB/RB – 1987-89
The Raiders acquired Lee during the 1987 season. In all, he played in 23 games with 7 starts, and intercepted 1 pass for 20 yards.
Marcus Wilson – RB – 1991
Selected in the 6th round of the 1991 NFL Draft out of Virginia, Wilson played in 1 game and gained 21 yards on 6 carries. He went on to play four seasons in Green Bay.
Cary Brabham – DB – 1994
Brabham saw action in 7 games for the Raiders in 1994, his only season in the NFL.
Jon Ritchie – FB – 1998-02
The Raiders selected Ritchie in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of Stanford. He played in 75 games with 48 starts and caught 129 passes for 1,026 yards and 4 TDs, and gained 35 yards on 14 carries. He was a key member of the Raiders squad that won three straight AFC West titles, appeared in two AFC Championship games and played in Super Bowl XXXVII. He finished his career with two years with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jarrod Cooper – S – 2004-07
Known for his skills as a gunner on special teams, Cooper played in 47 games with the Raiders with 10 starts. He recorded 1.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.
Louis Rankin – RB – 2009
Rankin was on the Raiders roster in 2009 and 2011. He wore No. 40 in 2009 and appeared in 2 games and returned 6 kickoffs for 108 yards. He also spent time with Seattle.