Fans have continued to push for rookie Tim Tebow to get his first start at quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Sunday may well be that day.

Broncos interim coach Eric Studesville said it's something he and the rest of the coaches discuss each week, but it's looking like a real possibility he'll start Sunday's game at Oakland. Tebow reportedly took a majority of the snaps with the first-team offense during practice the past three days, while starter Kyle Orton rested his sore ribs. Studesville didn't rule out the possibility of Tebow getting the nod.

Studesville declined to say whether he has decided on Tebow as the starter, but Raiders coach Tom Cable said, "I just have a feeling that we'll see him."

Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd earlier this week said it's a cut-and-dried issue, as far as he's concerned, in terms of playing Tebow or veteran Orton, who has started all 13 games.

"It's insane out here, the cry for Tebow," Lloyd said. "As a veteran player, I say I want to play with the guy who gives us the best shot of winning; and that's Orton."

Raiders receiver Louis Murphy was a teammate of Tebow's at Florida. He said the Raiders defense will have its hands full with Tebow from the very first play, even if others question whether Tebow is good enough to make it in the NFL.

"I feel he could play at the NFL level, most definitely, especially with his work ethic, how hard he works at his craft," Murphy said. "Hard work goes over talent any day. "... I know that he's going to come out and fight till the last minute."


Advertisement

  • Raiders special teams ace Sam Williams has seen his share of wild things during his eight NFL seasons. But he's never seen anything like the incident from Sunday's game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets in which Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi stuck out his knee as Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll ran downfield to cover a punt.

    Alosi's knee to the back of Carroll's right thigh sent the unsuspecting defender flying to the turf face first, where he lay for a spell as trainers tended to him. Alosi has been suspended for the rest of the season and fined by the team.

    "The thing that makes that so ironic is that the job of the strength coach is to make sure everybody's back on the sideline," Williams said this week. "They're the 'get-back' coach. They're the guy that tells everybody to back up. So for him to do that, it was mind-blowing."

    That doesn't mean that some unsavory things don't take place during special teams plays, Williams said.

    "I've seen players lean over and say stuff to players while they're running by on the sideline," Williams said, "but I've never seen someone actually interfere, and then like almost hurt the player. That would have been so bad if he had been seriously hurt."

    The league issued a memo to all teams Friday reminding them of the rules governing where players and coaches are allowed to stand on the sideline during games.

  • Lloyd is in the midst of the best season of his eight-year NFL career and is one of the few bright spots for the Broncos. Already, he has posted career-highs in receptions (63), yards (1,185) and touchdowns (nine). He is 34 yards shy of league-leading receiver Roddy White of Atlanta.

    Raiders Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the few players who has had much success against Lloyd this season. Asomugha held Lloyd without a reception in the teams' first meeting Oct. 24. Lloyd finished with one catch for 46 yards, but it came against another defender.

    "Nnamdi's awesome," Lloyd said. "I have a great deal of respect for his athletic ability, his size, his quickness, his knowledge of the game, his ability to play splits, to play tendencies. He does everything so well.

    "Going against him, you really want to have the opportunity to bring out all the tricks because he's one of those guys you have to."

  • Rolando McClain (foot) is questionable for Sunday's game after missing his third straight practice. Asomugha (ankle) also is questionable, though he has been able to practice in a limited fashion the past two days.