It’s wet in Oakland.
It’s raining today, and there’s at least a 60 percent chance of rain on each of the next five days — including a 70 percent chance of precipitation on Sunday.
In other words, as Justin Bannan put it, “it might be a mud bath out there” as the Broncos take on the Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
“We have talked about the weather,” Interim Head Coach Eric Studesville said, noting that the team hasn’t spent much time dwelling on it. “At this point in time, we have not adjusted any of our game plan for that — although we do have things in the game plan that would be good for this kind of weather that we are anticipating.”
One player in particular who has an eye on the weather is kicker Steven Hauschka, who will play in his second game as a Bronco with Matt Prater officially listed as out for Sunday’s game.
At Middlebury College in Vermont, Hauschka said he kicked in snow, sleet and rain, so he has plenty of experience playing “in a lot of slop.”
“You’ve just got to trust it and kick the ball with confidence,” he said. “You can’t really come into the ball as fast and you can’t plant as hard or you’ll slip. It’s the same things the rest of the players are going through.”
To combat the conditions, Hauschka plans to wear longer cleats on his left shoe — but he’ll never change the kicking shoe on his right foot.
Britton Colquitt, who could have to deal with wet footballs for punting and holding, said the long delay in Jacksonville in Week 1 for a thunderstorm was good experience for the club.
Everything was soaked on the other side of the delay, but “our guys did a pretty good job.”
“You’ve just got to make sure you catch the ball is the biggest thing, and after that, everything is the same,” Colquitt said. “That’s why we work on all the drills and do all the fundamental things, so when adversity comes or weather comes, your muscle memory takes over.”
With Kyle Orton limited in practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with a rib injury, Studesville has addressed all week whether the veteran will remain the starter at quarterback this Sunday, even without taking many reps at practice.
“He knows this offense well — he has been in there for two years,” Studesville said. “But, at this point in time we have not made any decisions.”
Meanwhile, Tim Tebow has taken the majority of the first-team reps, and Studesville said the coaching staff has been pleased with his progress.
“Tim has continued to develop. He has the game plan, he has been out there and been getting a lot of reps with the situation of Kyle not being able to practice,” Studesville said. “He has looked good getting those reps and we are confident that if that is the situation that came to pass, he would be ready to go.”
While Studesville said on Wednesday that Orton is “absolutely” the starter, the veteran’s limited snaps in practice have raised questions from the media about his availability.
“We have time — we have practice today and we have two more days before the game,” Studesville said. “Kyle is a valuable part of this team and we are going to wait as long as we have to.”
In addition to Prater (right groin), Brian Dawkins (knee) and Demaryius Thomas (ankle) are listed as out for Sunday’s game.
David Bruton (ribs), Darcel McBath (quadricep) and Orton (ribs) are questionable for the contest.
Kevin Alexander (ankle), Eric Decker (foot), Spencer Larsen (hamstring), Brandon Lloyd (calf) and Marcus Thomas (ankle) all had full participation in Friday’s practice and are listed as probable for Sunday.
For the Raiders, LB Rolando McClain (foot) did not practice all week and is listed as questionable. DB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), S Hiram Eugene (ribs), WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle) and WR Nick Miller (ankle) are also questionable for the matchup. T Khalif Barnes (back), QB Kyle Boller (quadricep), S Tyvon Branch (shoulder), LB Travis Goethel (knee), CB Chris Johnson (groin), DT Richard Seymour (knee) and TE Zach Miller (foot) are all listed as probable.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com
Below are photos from Friday’s chilly practice.