Friday, December 6, 2013
Status report: Raiders running game in flux
By Paul Gutierrez
NEWARK, N.J. -- Darren McFadden will miss the Oakland Raiders' game Sunday at the New York Jets with an ankle injury apparently suffered in the Thanksgiving Day loss at the Dallas Cowboys. The oft-injured running back was one of seven players ruled out of the Jets game by the Raiders Friday afternoon, along with strong safety Tyvon Branch, who was hoping to play for the first time since breaking a leg in Week 2.
It will be the fifth game McFadden has missed due to injury this season -- the first time it is not related to his right hamstring -- and the 18th of the Raiders' past 38 games. McFadden, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft who will be a free agent after this season, has never played in more than 13 games in a season during his six-year career.
Also ruled out: receiver Denarius Moore (who will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury), right guard Mike Brisiel, running back Jeremy Stewart, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and safety Usama Young.
As such, the Raiders already have seven “inactive” players for Sunday, though Maiava tweeted he has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, which would open up a roster spot.
And while defensive end Jason Hunter practiced fully Friday and was listed as probable after missing the previous two games with a foot injury, it's the Raiders' running game that has the most questions.
Rashad Jennings -- who was concussed late against the Cowboys and missed the last four games of the 2012 season after suffering a concussion while he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- is questionable, putting the Raiders' running game in flux.
Jennings has yet to clear the NFL's concussion protocol tests, so he's been limited in practice all week.
“We've really got the rest of today and tomorrow,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday. “So we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow.”
Taiwan Jones, who made the conversion from tailback to cornerback this offseason, took snaps at running back this week. And fullback Marcel Reece has played the role in the past.
Allen said this week he would probably go with a running back “by committee” if Jennings, McFadden and Stewart were all unable to play against the Jets. Also, Lucas Nix will replace Brisiel at right guard.
Here is the Raiders' status report for Sunday:
Out: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs/calf), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), S Usama Young (neck)
Questionable: LB Miles Burris (toe), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion)
Probable: DE Jason Hunter (foot), RT Menelik Watson (illness)