OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Josh McCown started at quarterback in place of the injured Daunte Culpepper and top draft pick JaMarcus Russell moved up to second string for the first time for the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Culpepper missed much of practice this week with a sore right quadriceps and was on the inactive list for this game because of the injury. That gave McCown his sixth start off the season and first since Nov. 11 against Chicago despite having two dislocated joints in his non-throwing left pinky.
With Russell moving up to second string, there was a chance he could make his NFL debut against the Broncos. Coach Lane Kiffin has said he would first use Russell for a couple of series in the middle of the game and the sign he would play would be when he was listed as the No. 2 quarterback.
Andrew Walter was the third quarterback. By NFL rules, if the No. 3 quarterback plays before the fourth quarter, the first two quarterbacks aren't allowed back into the game.
The Raiders have brought along Russell slowly after he missed all of training camp in a contract dispute. He signed three days after the season opener and has been working mostly with the scout team and in extra practice sessions designed to help him catch up. Russell got some work with the first team this week because of Culpepper's injury.
Running back Dominic Rhodes was also inactive for Oakland. One of the team's top offseason free-agent signings, Rhodes has seen little time as Justin Fargas has seized most of running opportunities.
Denver running back Andre Hall, who rushed for 98 yards last week against Chicago despite a high ankle sprain, was inactive. Travis Henry, who missed the last three games with an injured left knee, returned to his starting role.

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