Jacobs, who had a procedure Wednesday to treat a skin infection on his leg, did not practice this week after missing last week's victory at the Los Angeles Chargers. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Thursday that Jacobs' availability would, however, be determined by his ailing shoulder.
"Unfortunately, he does have a skin infection and that, I think, will be OK, but it's the shoulder," Gruden said. "It's been the shoulder, it is the shoulder and that's the area that we've got to take a good look at."
Jacobs, a leading candidate to be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, has missed two of Oakland's last three games with what he said was a fractured right shoulder. Still, he ranks eighth in the NFL this season with 1,150 rushing yards despite playing in only 13 games. He suffered the injury in Week 7 at the Green Bay Packers.
If Jacobs can't play Sunday, veteran DeAndre Washington would again be in line to start for the Raiders. Washington rushed for 85 yards on a career-high 23 carries in last weekend's win. He has 310 yards and three touchdowns this season.
For the Raiders (7-8) to gain an unlikely berth into the playoffs as the AFC's No. 6 seed, they need to beat the Broncos and have the Indianapolis Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tennessee Titans lose to the Houston Texans, and the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Baltimore Ravens.
In addition, the Raiders need a victory from one of four teams -- the New England Patriots (vs. Miami Dolphins), Chicago Bears (vs. Minnesota Vikings), Chargers (vs. Kansas City Chiefs) or Detroit Lions (vs. Packers) -- to gain a strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Steelers.
And while Jacobs and left guard Richie Incognito (ankle) are both doubtful against the Broncos, Gruden said the two would travel to Denver as a sign of "respect."
Meanwhile, cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen and Lamarcus Joyner and receiver Tyrell Williams are expected to play. Mullen was strapped to a stretcher and taken off the field in L.A. with a neck injury, and Joyner left the Chargers game with a calf injury. Williams has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in both feet.
"I am really proud of those guys," Gruden said.