NAPA — The toll from four full-pads practices against the 49ers on Tuesday and Wednesday manifested itself in 21 players missing practice Thursday.

Twelve of the 21 are projected starters. Needless to say, practice wasn't as crisp as normal.

"Both sides got a little lethargic there at the end," coach Tom Cable said.

The 49ers also got to some of the Raiders with the disparaging comments they made during the Wednesday morning practice, when the 49ers intercepted four passes in a red-zone drill.

"I heard (cornerback) Nate Clements say something about we weren't on their level," offensive tackle Khalif Barnes said. "I beg to differ. "... They had one good day, but it doesn't mean they can beat their chests and walk around like they're the best in the Bay."

  • Cable said Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy will start at wide receiver against the 49ers on Saturday night. He added he isn't averse to starting both rookies in a regular-season game, either. "If they're the best two guys, that's who's got to play," Cable said.

  • Quarterback JaMarcus Russell and the rest of the starters will play most or all of the first half at Candlestick Park on Saturday, Cable said. Jeff Garcia will make his Raiders debut against the 49ers in relief of Russell. Bruce Gradkowski is scheduled to relieve Garcia in the third quarter, with Charlie Frye taking over in the fourth quarter.

  • Justin Fargas started at running back in Oakland's exhibition opener against Dallas on Aug. 13. Cable said Darren McFadden or Michael Bush will start against the 49ers, with the one who doesn't start getting his shot against New Orleans on Aug. 29. Cable said he is close to naming an opening day starter at running back, but for now, "I just want to give them all a chance as a starter in the preseason."

  • Barnes is off crutches and moving around in a protective boot. He sustained a broken left ankle during practice Aug. 5. He said he's unlikely to be ready for the regular-season opener against San Diego on Sept. 14 but isn't ruling it out.

  • The Raiders said they released fullback Lorenzo Neal on Wednesday. A person with access to the league's daily personnel notice said the Raiders actually placed him on injured reserve.