ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Deep-threat receiver Denarius Moore returned to practice for the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday after missing the previous three games with an injured right foot, providing a needed boost to a struggling offense.
The Raiders are still waiting for two of their other most dangerous playmakers to return from injuries. Receiver Jacoby Ford (left foot), who has been out for more than a month, ran on the side but is still unable to practice. Running back Darren McFadden has been out since injuring his right foot Oct. 23 against Kansas City.
But Moore's return to practice was an encouraging sign for an offense that has sputtered without three of its fastest players.
"I think any time you get one of your playmakers back, it gives you a tremendous boost," coach Hue Jackson said. "Again, this is going to be a football team game. It won't be just one guy. One guy can't change where we need to be. It's got to be our team."
The Raiders (7-6) have been blown out the past two weeks, losing 34-14 at Miami and 46-16 at Green Bay to fall out of first place in the AFC West. Oakland trails Denver by one game in the division and the New York Jets by one game in the wild-card race, leaving little margin for error with three games left in the season.
The Raiders have fallen behind 34-0 the past two weeks before scoring as turnovers, penalties and the lack of big-play threats have derailed an offense that was quite potent when its best playmakers were healthy.
"We need to play much better than we did the last two weeks," quarterback Carson Palmer said. Palmer has yet to play with McFadden this season and has struggled since Ford and Moore were hurt.
"You can't use that as an excuse or you can't really think about, 'What if we had this guy or what if we had that guy?' " Palmer said. "You play with who you have and you need to make the best of every situation and make the best of every play. Sometimes if the play isn't there, the best thing is to get to second-and-10, and that's something that I'm going to do a better job of."
Jackson wasn't sure yet whether Moore would play this week, saying it was important to see how his foot responds Thursday. But if he is able to return, that should help the running game as well as the passing game as defenses won't be able to focus so heavily on stopping running back Michael Bush.
Moore "didn't get a ton of work, but he looked good, and for a Wednesday it looked good," Palmer said. "He's still got a handful of days to get ready and kind of get back in the swing of things, catching balls and be on the field with defense coming at him, so it was good for him."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press