ALAMEDA, Calif. — When the Oakland Raiders played the Denver Broncos the first time this season, they relied heavily on the run.

They posted their most carries, most yards and most touchdowns on the ground in the past three years.

The formula that delivered the 30-20 victory in November probably will be a similar formula that Oakland uses in the rematch in Denver this week, especially with backup Matt McGloin taking the snaps from center in place of the injured starting quarterback, Derek Carr.

“I think everyone is taking a little bit more on their shoulders because they understand Derek went down,” running back DeAndre Washington said.

“He was a vital leader to this team, an MVP to this team. Whenever someone like that goes down everyone else has to step up.” The running game has played a big role in Oakland’s success this season, especially in recent weeks when Carr wasn’t quite as effective throwing the ball with an injured pinkie.

Now with Carr out indefinitely with a broken leg, it will be even more crucial so Oakland can relieve pressure on McGloin, who has thrown just 55 passes the past three seasons.

Led by Latavius Murray, Washington and Jalen Richard, the Raiders rank fifth in the league in rushing at 124.3 yards per game and have been even more potent of late with 157.3 yards per game over the past four games.

“We know we need to run the football for this offense to move the ball, to move the chains,” Murray said.

BILLS: Reggie Bush has picked up many honors and accolades throughout his football career. But he’s looking to avoid a dubious distinction with one game remaining.

The veteran Buffalo running back has a chance of becoming the first non-quarterback since the AFL-NFL merger to finish a season with negative rushing yards (with a minimum of 10 carries).

Bush has minus-3 yards on 12 carries.

According to Pro Football Reference, Bush could become the first non-quarterback to finish the season with negative yardage on double-digit carries since John Adams in 1961.

The Bills added the veteran on Aug. 1 to bolster their depth in the backfield, but he’s been given few opportunities on the field with LeSean McCoy playing well.

McCoy has been Buffalo’s most valuable player this season, leading the way for the league’s best rushing offense. The Bills lead the NFL in rushing with 2,562 yards on 464 attempts for a 5.5 yard average.

BROWNS: Quarterback Robert Griffin III was cleared from concussion protocol and will start Sunday at Pittsburgh in the season finale.

Griffin was checked by an independent neurologist – the last step in the NFL’s procedure on head injuries – and practiced as the Browns (1-14) prepared to face a Steelers team assured of a playoff spot. Pittsburgh will rest several starters, including stars Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.

Griffin sustained his concussion in the fourth quarter last week against San Diego and was replaced by rookie Cody Kessler, who finished the Browns’ 20-17 win.

Griffin has made three straight starts after missing 11 weeks with a broken left shoulder. Griffin has shown improvement in each game but has yet to throw a touchdown pass.

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill returned to the practice field but isn’t taking part in team drills yet.

Tannehill wore a left knee brace while watching his teammates at the start of Thursday’s workout for the regular-season finale Sunday against New England.

He’s been sidelined since Week 14 with a strained MCL and ACL, and won’t play this week, but there’s a chance he’ll return at some point in the postseason.

FORMER NFL player and Virginia Tech defensive back and special teams standout Keion Carpenter has died.

The school announced that family members said Carpenter died in Miami. He was 39 and the cause of death is unclear.

Carpenter intercepted 14 passes during his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. He blocked six kicks at Virginia Tech, tying the school record.

He also founded The Carpenter House, designed to benefit children from low income homes through mentoring.