Wilson practicing, should play

Broncos middle linebacker Al Wilson has practiced this week and his teammates believe he will play against the Raiders this weekend. RB Clinton Portis, who injured a heel in the Bears game appears ready to go also. Read about the injury updates and more on the aging, but still dangerous Raiders in today's news reports.

Taking a hard line - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 28, 2003 - Daryl Gardener is an imposing 6-foot-6, 295-pound package of fury and muscle. But he's not bigger than Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. Keyshawn Johnson is a high-profile, big-money wide receiver. After his 1996 rookie season with the New York Jets - in which the Jets managed to win just one game - he wrote a book entitled "Just Give Me the Damn Ball."

Raiders struggling, but no pushovers - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Friday, November 28, 2003 - The mighty Oakland Raiders have fallen. The Broncos would like nothing more than to kick them while they're down. The Broncos (6-5), still hoping for a string of victories that would propel them into the playoffs, get their chance Sunday in Oakland when they meet the Raiders (3-8).

Burns says injuries not a problem - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Friday, November 28, 2003 - Though Broncos middle linebacker Al Wilson is listed as questionable on this week's injury report, there are no questions about his status in the mind of backup middle linebacker Keith Burns. "Al will play," Burns predicted Thursday. "Bottom line, he will play. Why wouldn't he?"

For aging Raiders, it's fade to black - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
November 28, 2003 - The Oakland Raiders are adjusting their black hats and preparing their meanest scowls for Sunday's game with the Denver Broncos, but the shtick seems artificial this time. In 12 weeks, old age, injuries, insurrection and a sputtering offense have turned the silver and black into a parody of the team that played in last season's Super Bowl. At midseason, the Raiders had a 2-6 record, their worst start since 1964 (1-6-1). They lost their first four road games for the first time since 1962.

How the Broncos and Raiders match up - Rocky Mountain News
November 28, 2003 - Clinton Portis hasn't had much success against the Raiders, with only 144 yards in three games. In Denver's Week 3 victory this season, Portis still was hurting from a bruised sternum and was limited to 10 carries before giving way to Mike Anderson. Portis is battling a heel bruise and it will be interesting to see if he's able to cut sharply.

Receiver corps isn't catching on enough - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 28, 2003 - During training camp, Denver Broncos coaches and officials gushed about the depth and talent at the team's wide receiver position. So far, it hasn't surfaced. Rod Smith has made 58 catches, and he has been supplemented mainly by tight end Shannon Sharpe (44) and running back Clinton Portis (34). But Denver players wearing jerseys with numbers in the 80s have performed a disappearing act.

Raiders' Mirer is giving all he's got - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 27, 2003 - Granted, it wasn't the Super Bowl. And Rick Mirer never will be confused with John Elway as a quarterback. But to Oakland Raiders teammates who watched Mirer dive and spin like a helicopter against the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago, it said plenty about his passion for the game.

Run-friendly Raiders are 'still capable' - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 28, 2003 - The previous time Clinton Portis faced the Oakland Raiders, he saw limited action because of a bruised sternum. This time, he's listed on the injury report with a heel problem. But not to worry, the Denver Broncos star running back said. "I'm good," he said Thursday. "I practiced two days in a row. I'll be on the field Sunday."

Broncos looking for Lelie to increase his production - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 28, 2003 - It's Thanksgiving week and time for Ashley Lelie to prove he doesn't belong at the kids' table anymore. The Denver Broncos, with veteran Ed McCaffrey's career on fumes, desperately need last year's first-round pick to grow up as a football player and start meeting great expectations.

Broncos gear for Raiders' Mirer - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 28, 2003 - The Broncos and Raiders have had to use their No. 3 quarterbacks as starters during disappointing seasons. But Oakland's Rick Mirer — who is 1-2 with near-misses against the New York Jets (a 27-24 loss in overtime) and Kansas City (a 27-24 loss at Arrowhead Stadium) — has looked more like Rich Gannon than Danny Kanell.

Educational season for Raiders' Porter - San Francisco Chronicle - Nancy Gay
Friday, November 28, 2003 - With 11 players languishing on injured reserve and an almost daily dose of distractions shattering the routine, the 3-8 Raiders' locker room is a somber place these days. Even Jerry Porter has learned to tone it down. This requires a tremendous amount of restraint on his part. He's stylish and gregarious and an unabashed motormouth, with a bigger-than-life personality that matches a big-play persona on the field. This was supposed to be Porter's breakout year, when his speed and skill would produce Pro Bowl caliber stats.

Shanahan 'Disappointed' in Gardener - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - Indicating that this was the last time he would talk about the second suspension of Daryl Gardener for the next two weeks, Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan expounded upon the issue on Wednesday. In Shanahan's eyes, the worst part of Gardener's diatribe on local radio station KRFX-103.5 "The Fox" wasn't the player's criticisms of the head coach. Rather, it was the fact that Gardener intonated that Shanahan didn't tell him why he was handed the initial one-game suspension last week.

Thursday Notebook: Wilson Recovering; Burns Ready if Needed - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, November 27, 2003 - Keith Burns is preparing like he'll be needed at middle linebacker. But he doesn't merely hope that his services won't be needed, he fervently believes that Al Wilson will play in spite of the neck pain that has him listed as questionable on the Thursday injury report. "I don't anticipate him not starting," Burns said.

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