The Miami Dolphins popularized the use of the Wildcat formation in 2008, using running back Ronnie Brown at quarterback a handful of times.

However, the Dolphins have morphed into a pass-happy attack this season and distanced themselves from the unconventional formation that the Raiders use on occasion with running back Darren McFadden.

Brown has amassed 640 yards on 118 carries (5.4-yard average) and seven touchdowns out of the Wildcat since the start of the 2008 season. Yet, only 16 of those carries came this season, netting 36 yards and no touchdowns.

Raiders coach Tom Cable said the Wildcat remains a viable option for the Dolphins.

"You prepare for it, there's no question," Cable said. "That would be a stone that, if you left it unturned, it would probably get you."

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Brown and Ricky Williams no longer are the focal point of his offense and the addition of more talented wide receivers lessens the need to be so creative.

"It's a little bit different time right now for us in that when we started the Wildcat thing, a large part of it had to do with the weapons that we had at the time "...," Sparano said. "Our best personnel at the time included Ronnie and Ricky on the field at the same time."

The Dolphins traded for receiver Brandon Marshall in the offseason, and Davone Bess and Brian Hartline have developed into reliable receivers.

"I don't think it's necessary at this point in time for us to be involved with (the Wildcat) a lot," Sparano said. "We have some other weapons out there, and some of the teams in the league have obviously caught on to it. Everybody's kind of doing a little bit of it, just like the Raiders are."

The Raiders used the Wildcat formation a few games in 2008. Cable shelved it last season, but he broke it out against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 7.

  • Cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and wide receiver Chaz Schilens (foot) missed practice and won't play Sunday, Cable said.

    Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) is to play after missing the Pittsburgh Steelers game last Sunday.

    Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) and strong safety Tyvon Branch (shoulder) are probable. Tight end Zach Miller (foot) is questionable.

  • The Raiders take their second shot at winning a sixth game this Sunday. Reaching that goal would give the Raiders more victories than any of the past seven Raiders teams accomplished.

  • Should the Dolphins start quarterback Tyler Thigpen for a second straight week, he would bring a 1-11 record in games he's started, with his lone victory coming against the Raiders on Nov. 30, 2008, at the Coliseum when Thigpen was with Kansas City. However, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report, citing a source, said Sparano is leaning toward starting Chad Henne against the Raiders. Henne hasn't played since suffering a left knee injury vs. Tennessee on Nov. 14.

  • The Dolphins last played the Raiders at the Coliseum in 2005. The Dolphins beat the Raiders that day and are 7-2 against them since the start of the 1997 season, with one of those losses coming in a playoff game in the 2000 season.

  • Numerous Raiders players donated time, effort and resources in Thanksgiving-related activities throughout the Bay Area this week. The linebackers hosted a dinner for youth just out of foster care in San Ramon. The defensive backs distributed meals at two Oakland locations on back-to-back nights.

    RAIDERS TO BE BLACKED OUT
    The Raiders' home game Sunday (kickoff 1:05 p.m.) against the Miami Dolphins didn't sell out and won't be televised locally. A one-day extension of the NFL's deadline because of Thanksgiving wasn't enough to bridge the gap.
    In lieu of the Dolphins-Raiders game, CBS will broadcast the Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants 10 a.m. game locally. It's the Raiders' fifth blackout out of six home games this season.
    -- STEVE CORKRAN