A day after the Oakland Raiders’ passing game relied on short passes to potentially overworked running back Darren McFadden, the team got bad news for the receiver group.
Jacoby Ford, a sparkplug No. 3 receiver, will have surgery on his left foot and he will be out a significant amount of time, according to Oakland coach Dennis Allen. Ford missed nearly the entire second half of last season with a sprained left foot and then he re-injured the same foot this summer. It is reasonable to think Ford, a third-year speedster, could miss the entire year.
The Raiders hope to get starter Denarius Moore back Sunday. He has been out for several weeks with a hamstring injury. When Miller return the Raiders will have a receiver groups that includes Moore, fellows starter Darrius Heyward-Bey, Derek Hagan, and rookie Rod Streater and Juron Criner. Streater, an undrafted rookie, started in a loss to San Diego on Monday night.
With a strapped receiving crew, Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer went to McFadden often. He had 13 catches for 86 yards. It was a Raiders’ record for a running back. The problem was, McFadden’s longest catch was for 17 yards and it the Chargers snuffed it out, for the most part, in the second half. McFadden didn’t have success as a runner, which is his biggest job. He had just 32 yards on 15 carries.
Thus, 28 touches for 118 yards may not be worth it for a player who is injury prone. The Raiders need to find a way to maximize McFadden’s impact.
With Ford out, the Raiders will surely look for a veteran. They worked out Jabar Gaffney last week before signing Hagan. Gaffney could be a choice. Oakland will likely bring in someone, but the truth is, no newcomer is going to make up for Ford’s speed. What the Raiders need is to hope Hagan, Streater and Criner can all make impacts.