EL SEGUNDO, CALIF., JAN. 16 -- Unless the Los Angeles Raiders are putting on an Oscar-winning performance, it appears that running back Bo Jackson probably won't play against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game on Sunday.

Coach Art Shell said today Jackson is doubtful for the game because of a hip injury he suffered last week and the team plans to play the Bills without him. The Raiders have activated running back Greg Bell, placed on injured reserve the day before Jackson joined the team on Oct. 21 after his baseball stint with the Kansas City Royals.

Bell, who was traded to the Raiders from the Los Angeles Rams in the offseason, worked with the starting offense in Jackson's place at practice today.

"I feel good about it," said Bell. "I'm ready to play. I've been out here for the past nine weeks. I get the ball, I cut, I'm not rusty at all."

Bell "has been bugging me all year long about getting back on the roster," Shell said. "The guy wants to be a part of what we're trying to accomplish. He's going to get his chance."

Shell said that Jackson, the raw power of the Raiders' running game who combined with Marcus Allen to rush for almost 1,400 yards, has a "limp in his giddyap. That's basically where we are . . . he's doubtful for this week."

Jackson didn't practice today and Shell said he probably won't work with the offense on Thursday. Players said he spent most of today in the training room, getting treatment on the hip. Team physician Robert Rosenfeld said Jackson "won't play this week" and expressed doubts he'll be ready for the Super Bowl, if the Raiders get that far.

Jackson injured his left hip in the third quarter of the AFC semifinal game against Cincinnati last Sunday on a twisting tackle by linebacker Kevin Walker.

Jackson received a magnetic resonance imaging scan on the hip Monday but the club is refusing to give details about the test. The Raiders are about as good as any team -- especially during the week of the AFC championship -- at hiding just about anything.

"There was some swelling in the area," Shell said. "I don't think they found anything else." Shell then joked to reporters that they should ask head trainer George Anderson, knowing that Anderson doesn't talk to reporters.

On Monday, Jackson left the Raiders' complex on crutches, obviously still in a great deal of pain.

Immediately after the Bengals game as he was being carted off the field, Jackson said, "It's a hip pointer. Yes, I'm going to play next week. Yes."

And he has told at least one player the same thing. Tight end Ethan Horton said he fully expects Jackson to play. "He's up, he's around walking," Horton said. "He said he was fine, just in a little pain. He told me today he was going to play. I'm going to go with that until he tells me otherwise."

Others, like quarterback Jay Schroeder, don't expect Jackson to play.

"This just means that with Bo gone somebody else is going to have to step up in his place," said Schroeder, the former Washington Redskins quarterback. "We'll survive without Bo. We're just going to line up and play."

It is possible the Raiders are trying to lull the Bills into thinking Jackson is not going to play. That's what happened with Bengals running back James Brooks, who said throughout the week of the Los Angeles game he wasn't going to play. After he did, he said he lied in order to throw off the Raiders.

"Of course I hope Bo plays," said running back Marcus Allen, who will likely shoulder most of the running duties if he does not. "He's a big part of our offense and our offense suffers when he's not in there."

Jackson's injury -- should it prove serious enough to keep him out of the championship game -- will surely hurt Los Angeles' running game, one of the best in the NFL.

Shell, Jackson and Allen have done a masterful job of keeping egos in check while working a rotation system with both backs. Neither Jackson nor Allen was used to sharing the rushing duties before the idea of using them both became a reality.

"The thing is they put their egos aside and decided that the most important thing is winning," Shell said. "They want to take care of each other, help each other out there when the other is out on the field.

"It's not like Marcus is on one side and Bo is on the other side. They're together because this team is together. Put your egos aside and let's decide to win. We talked about that at the beginning of the year. Every player in this organization has to put their egos aside."

If the Cincinnati game is any indication, the possible loss of Jackson won't markedly hurt the Raiders. Allen rushed for 140 yards on 21 carries and helped absorb most of the clock with brilliant runs once Los Angeles got the lead. Allen, all by himself, often can carry the running game.

"I think the way those guys have worked out has been remarkable," said Raiders defensive end Greg Townsend. "We can win with Marcus, no question, if Bo can't play. But if Bo does play then they'll just keep doing what they've been doing, running the ball and being unselfish about it.

"When Bo first got here there was nothing {negative} for him to feed off of Marcus because Marcus is a class guy. It wasn't like Marcus said, 'I'm Marcus Allen and I'm going to run the ball, not Bo.' I think Marcus showed that he was genuine, that Bo didn't have to be defensive."

Bell is a seven-year veteran who led the Rams in 1989 with 1,137 yards rushing and had an NFL-high 15 touchdowns. Although he's no Bo, Shell is confident Bell will play well.

"I know that he hasn't played for some time but I don't think suddenly playing will be that much of a shock to him," Shell said. "He's a pro and I have confidence in him. He doesn't expect to carry a big {part} of the running game anyway."