ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -Raiders quarterback Daunte Culpepper was limited in practice Thursday due to a sore quadriceps muscle, but is expected to play this weekend against Denver.
``He just came in this morning and it was bothering him, so we were safe with him,'' Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said. ``He did some stuff today, so we'll see what he can do tomorrow. I don't anticipate him being out, but if he was then we'll figure it out then.''
Culpepper, who has started six games for Oakland this season, said the injury initially occurred in last week's 20-17 win over Kansas City. He practiced Wednesday then iced his right thigh afterward, but awoke Thursday with considerable soreness in his leg.
The Raiders plan a cautious approach with the 30-year-old Culpepper, who has missed 21 games over the last two seasons due to multiple knee injuries. He received treatment after practice and will be re-evaluated Thursday.
But the veteran quarterback believes he'll be ready to play against the Broncos. Culpepper, who struggled with turnovers earlier in the season, has completed 38 of 61 passes for 514 yards over his last two games.
``I kind of cut back on my reps because I didn't want to make it any worse than it is,'' Culpepper said. ``I feel good enough ... but I'm not going to push it. We'll see how it feels tomorrow.''
Culpepper isn't the only Raiders quarterback hurting.
Backup Josh McCown had to have stitches in his left hand after dislocating two joints in his pinky while playing catch with teammate Andrew Walter in practice Wednesday.
Because the injury occurred to his non-throwing hand, McCown isn't expected to be slowed much. He and rookie JaMarcus Russell split the extra reps in practice while Culpepper sat out selected drills.
McCown has already been hampered by foot, toe and hand injuries this season after opening the year as Oakland's starter.
``It's just par for the course this year,'' McCown said.
With both quarterbacks hurting, speculation naturally turned to Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. Russell has yet to play after missing all of training camp and the preseason while negotiating his contract. He's been trying to catch up ever since.
Kiffin has not said if Russell will play at all this season, but acknowledged the rookie has improved his grasp of the offense.
``We're still looking at some things with him,'' Kiffin said. ``He took some reps today and did well. He moved around well, did some things well and jumped right in there. We'll continue to push him and we'll keep plugging away.''

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