Raiders prepare for Broncos without head coach

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm •  Published: December 3, 2012

While Knapp is officially in charge of the team while Allen is away, he said the only real additional responsibility he will have is to decide when to blow the horn to move to the next practice period.

Some of the players just learned of Allen's absence on Monday and wanted to pass their best wishes on to their coach and his family. They said it will be hard to concentrate entirely on the Broncos knowing what Allen is going through.

"I think it will because obviously we'll be caring about his situation, just wondering what's going on," cornerback Michael Huff said. "But we know we have a game to get ready for. It will because we'll be worried about him, but I think we'll still walk on the field and focus."

The Raiders will need to be at their best to have a chance against the Broncos. Oakland has lost five straight games and was carved up by rookie Brandon Weeden on Sunday in the loss to the Browns.

Now the defense must deal with Manning, who was 30 for 38 for 338 yards and three touchdowns in Denver's 37-6 home win over Oakland in Week 4.

The Raiders are also dealing with a number of injuries in the secondary, with starting free safety Matt Giordano, backup safety Mike Mitchell and backup cornerback Phillip Adams all leaving Sunday's game with concussions.

The three will need to pass the league's concussion protocol in order to play Thursday, which could be difficult because of the short week.

That could lead to a patchwork secondary on Thursday night.

"You're never really ready for Peyton Manning," Tarver said. "It's a matter of getting on the same page and having enough coverage looks to hopefully slow down his progression and challenge guys in coverage, that's what we need to do."

NOTES: RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are expected to play after missing the previous four games with sprained right ankles. ... The Raiders are hosting their first Thursday game since Oct. 25, 1979, against San Diego. They have played eight Thursday road games since then.

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