Entering last week's game against Carolina, Broncos FB-RB Reuben Droughns had run the ball just 40 times in his first four seasons in the league. But he nearly doubled that output in one game, rushing 30 times for 193 yards and also catching a touchdown pass. Now there's a good chance he could be the starter today when the Broncos visit Oakland.

Droughns was drafted in the third round in 2000 by the Lions, with whom he played until 2001. Since then, he spent time on the Dolphins' practice squad before Denver signed him as a free agent in 2002.

He's yet another running back who has thrived in Denver despite being lightly regarded elsewhere. Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson were both sixth-round picks, Olandis Gary was taken in the fourth round and Clinton Portis in the second. In all but one year of Mike Shanahan's tenure, the Broncos have had a 1,000-yard rusher.

But Droughns wouldn't mind returning to fullback. "If there's somebody out there better than me, I don't mind blocking for them," he said. "With Quentin [Griffin], Clinton Portis the past couple of years, Mike Anderson, those guys are talented running backs, and I don't mind blocking for them if they get the 100- and 150-yard games."

DROUGHNS