Raiders' offense gets big boost

The Oakland Raiders received some great injury news Wednesday as they begin the work week of the franchise’s biggest game since the Super Bowl in January, 2003.

The Oakland Tribune reports spark plug receiver/returner Jacoby Ford is practicing Wednesday. It is Ford’s first practice since he was injured at San Diego on Nov. 10. Barring a setback, Ford should be ready to play in a must-win game for the Raiders on Sunday at home against the Chargers. The Raiders are alive in both the AFC West and in the wild-card race.

The newspaper reported Ford, who was out with a foot sprain, was participating in all the drills. His return should spark a passing game, especially since quarterback Carson Palmer will be working with a healthy receiving crew for the first time in several weeks.

As expected, Darren McFadden is not practicing. The running back has been out since Oct. 23 with a foot injury. He has not been ruled out of the San Diego game, but there are indications he is unlikely to play Sunday.

Safety Michael Huff is back at practice. However, defensive tackle John Henderson was not practicing nor was defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

In other AFC West news:

Denver linebacker Von Miller fell to No. 2 in ESPN.com’s rookie watch. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton rose to No. 1. Fittingly, Newton was the No. 1 pick in the draft and Miller was the No. 2 pick in the draft.

As expected, Denver safety Brian Dawkins was held out of the Broncos’ practice Wednesday. He has been dealing with it for several weeks and he had to leave Saturday’s game at Buffalo with the injury.