Manning is in the 10th year of what is shaping up to be a Hall of Fame career. He holds the NFL's single-season touchdown record (49), quarterbacked Indianapolis to its first-ever Super Bowl championship in 2006 and is coming off his second consecutive game with at least four TD passes.
JaMarcus Russell is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The No. 1 overall pick in the draft has played in just one game this season, making a brief two-series appearance against Denver on Dec. 2, and has yet to throw his first touchdown pass in the NFL.
"He's a good guy, has a great personality, good to be around and he does well with people," Russell said of Manning. "He handles himself in a decent way."
Russell was invited to take part in Manning's football camps in two years ago and has been doing it ever since. Though he and Manning occasionally talk about football, most of the conversations have dealt with off-the-field issues.
"Basically he just talked to me about life, period, instead of football," Russell said. "At the time, he said he wanted to try get away and go out there and teach the kids instead of talking to us. He said when the time gets right for him, he and I, we'll get together, go over some things if time let us."
That time never came but it will Sunday. Russell's appearance is sure to draw just as much attention as Manning.
The game is sold out, according to a Raiders' team spokesman, and will avoid the local television blackout.