Early AFC West notes

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain is among the players not practicing in Oakland on Wednesday. He suffered an ankle injury at Houston on Sunday.

In an Insider piece, KC Joyner believes the Denver Broncos could learn from the Carolina Panthers’ use of Cam Newton as they begin to start Tim Tebow at quarterback. As always, Joyner delivers a well-thought out premise.

The Broncos are hopeful second-year receiver DeMaryius Thomas can play in Week 7 when the Raiders return from their bye. He ruptured his Achilles in February and suffered a finger injury this season. The No. 1 pick in 2010 is a talented player, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy.

Speculation regarding the Raiders’ future without Al Davis continues.

NFL.com reports the Raiders are starting to look for a general manager. Monday, coach Hue Jackson -- who is expected to play a major personal role right now -- said he is not sure if the Raiders need immediate help. We will hear a lot about Oakland’s plans in the coming months.

John Madden thinks it’s too early to think about the future in Oakland.

Bill Parcells tells a humorous story of what he once told his old friend Davis when the Raiders’ owner asked if he’d be interested in coaching his team.

Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski was named the AFC special teams player of the week. He tied an NFL record with three field goals of 50 yards or more Sunday in the Raiders’ 25-20 win over the Texans.

Second-year running back Ryan Mathews impresses his teammates in San Diego because of his willingness to play through pain.

In an Insider piece, Adam Schefter discusses the chances of Denver trading quarterback Kyle Orton, who has been replaced by Tebow as the starting quarterback.

Denver linebacker Von Miller remains atop of ESPN.com’s Rookie Watch.

Oakland running back Darren McFadden is eighth on ESPN.com’s MVP Watch.