Hamstrung Jennings plows ahead

October, 8, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Rashad Jennings knew something was amiss with his hamstring early Sunday night. Like before the opening kickoff.

It was during pregame warm-ups when the Raiders backup tailback, starting because Darren McFadden was out with a strained hamstring of his own, felt the back of his leg yank on him.

“I was just planting on the grass and it went,” Jennings said Monday. “I was like, ‘Really? Really? Are you serious?’”

Jennings played through it, at least for the first half of the Raiders’ eventual 27-17 win over the San Diego Chargers. He did not take himself out of the game, though, or even complain about his leg.

Rather, someone on the Raiders’ staff took notice of him favoring it and the recommendation came to shut him down at halftime. Even as he had already rushed for a game-high 41 yards on 10 punishing carries.

“As a player, man, you always want to play,” Jennings said. “I believe that’s the kind of player coaches would rather have. It was a decision above me so that’s what we’re rolling with.”

You could make an argument that Oakland erred on the side of caution in regards to Jennings, who, along with quarterback Terrelle Pryor, was keeping the Chargers defense honest with a dogged running style reminiscent of Justin Fargas.

With Jennings out, the Raiders’ offense slowed significantly in the second half until late in the fourth quarter.

How would Raiders coach Dennis Allen describe Jennings’ status?

“I don’t think that’s a major issue,” Allen said. “But obviously, we’ll see how he responds.”

Once a week, Jennings rides a bicycle to the Raiders facility. It’s a 20-minute ride each way. If he makes it this week, that would be a sign the hamstring is good to go Sunday in Kansas City, right?

“I’m going to do everything, make sure I’m ready,” he said. “You can count on that.”

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter



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