Whether they'll be available to face the New England Patriots will play itself out over the next few days, but players who were on the practice field Wednesday for the Raiders included wide receiver Jacoby Ford, free safety Michael Huff and strong safety Mike Mitchell.

Ford missed the past two games with a hamstring strain, Huff left the 34-24 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday with a concussion, and Mitchell has been out for two months rehabbing a knee injury.

"We're going to be cautious with those guys their first day back," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said.

All were "limited," meaning they did not participate fully in the practice.

The Raiders have struggled on kickoff returns in Ford's absence, first with Nick Miller and again against the Jets with rookie Taiwan Jones.

Jackson said it is too early to determine if Ford could return kickoffs against New England.

Huff's presence at free safety would be crucial against a Patriots team that has passed for more yards (1,327) than any team in NFL history over its first three games behind quarterback Tom Brady.

Mitchell, who played a hybrid safety/linebacker role last season, could lend physicality to some nickel and dime formations.

"He is one of the toughest competitors I have ever been around," Jackson said. "I know he likes to play football. It was great to see that 34 out there running around and making plays."

  • Running back Darren McFadden, the reigning AFC offensive player of the week after rushing for 171 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets, is finding all the media attention amusing after struggling through injuries his first two seasons before breaking out in 2010, his third season.

    "I guess two years ago I was a bust,'' McFadden said. "Now I'm the best running back in the league. So it's something I really don't pay attention to. I just keep going about it how I've been going, practicing hard and grinding.''

    McFadden was listed as having a groin injury after the game, but it wasn't an issue Wednesday. He wasn't even on the injury report.

    "I guess coming out at the end of the game it was just a misunderstanding," McFadden said. "People got it confused or something. I feel OK."

  • Quarterback Jason Campbell was limited in practice with what was listed as a heel injury. It was called a "foot" injury the previous week, and during the CBS telecast it was reported he had plantar fasciitis.

    Campbell was limited in practice, and his condition will need to be monitored on a weekly basis.

  • Jackson isn't the only one who refers to Raiders owner Al Davis as "Coach Davis." Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who interviewed for the Raiders head coaching position in 1998 (it went to Jon Gruden), used the title when talking about Oakland.

    "I think Coach Davis and Coach Jackson have done a great job putting their roster together," Belichick said. "They're good in all three phases of the game. They're big, they're fast, they're good football players, they're tough. They give you a lot of problems in all three areas of the game."

  • Those who did not participate in practice included wide receiver Louis Murphy (groin), fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), linebacker Ricky Brown (concussion), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring).

    Rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, inactive against the Jets and recovering from a laceration on his knee, participated fully.