Jason Campbell let down his guard Wednesday, admitting he received satisfaction in hearing Raiders coach Tom Cable say Campbell "earned" the right to be the starting quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

"Yeah, (it was nice) because nothing is given to you in this league, nothing is given to you in life," Campbell said of Cable's praise. "To earn something makes you appreciate it more. At the same time, it makes you work even harder because you want to keep it going and you want to stay on top of what you're doing."

Campbell has steered clear of any talk about the quarterbacking situation since he was benched in favor of Bruce Gradkowski at halftime of Oakland's second game.

He replaced Gradkowski early in the Raiders' game against the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 10 after Gradkowski suffered a sprained right shoulder. He has started the past four games, with the Raiders winning the last three.

Cable called Gradkowski the "clear-cut" starter during his four-game absence. On Monday, Cable decided it made more sense to stick with "the hot hand" in Campbell.

  • Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), tight end Zach Miller (foot) and defensive tackle John Henderson (foot) practiced in a limited capacity.

    Asomugha and Miller missed Oakland's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their status for the Steelers' game remains uncertain. Cable said he expects to have a better feel for their availability today.

    For Henderson, he practiced for the first time in two months. He suffered a stress fracture in his right foot against the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 19 and missed the past seven games. His status for Sunday also is up in the air.

  • Wide receivers Chaz Schilens (knee) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) were held out of practice. Cable said Heyward-Bey suffered his injury during practice Nov. 9.

    "It's a real slight strain, not real serious," Cable said, "but it's one of those things where if you push it too much too quick, it could become serious."

    Schilens hasn't practiced with his teammates or played in a game this season as he recovers from surgery on his left knee during training camp.