Raiders' Darren McFadden doubtful

Updated: October 4, 2013, 4:55 PM ET
By Paul Gutierrez | ESPN.com

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden is officially listed as doubtful to play Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers with a strained right hamstring.

Realistically, McFadden likely will not play again until Oct. 27, at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That would give McFadden two-plus games and a bye week to heal after he pulled the hamstring in the first half against Washington last week.

"I think (sitting out is) going to help me out a whole lot," McFadden said Friday. "But at the same time we're just taking it day-to-day right now.

"Just walking around and stuff you can feel it a little bit. It's tight, sore, so hamstrings are one of those things you want to be careful with. I'd rather miss one or two games than to come back and pop it and miss four or five."

McFadden has had an injury-plagued career in Oakland since the Raiders made the two-time Heisman Trophy finalist out of Arkansas the No. 4 overall pick in 2008. He has never played more than 13 games in a season, missing time with toe, knee, hamstring, foot and ankle maladies.

Entering this year, he had missed 14 of the Raiders' previous 33 games. McFadden, who is in a contract year, was asked to describe his level of frustration.

"Man, I can't even describe it and put it into words," he said. "I just try to keep my head up and keep pushing forward and stay positive."

McFadden, who had a career-low 3.3 yards per carry average last season, has rushed for 215 yards on 53 carries thus far this season for a 4.1 per carry average. But if you take out his four long runs against Jacksonville, which total 108 yards, McFadden has 107 yards on 49 carries, an average of just 2.2 yards per carry.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said McFadden was getting "closer" to returning.

"But whether he's ready to play or not," Allen added, "he's doubtful for the game, so ... "Can he be effective? If he can be effective, he'll be in there to play. If he can't be, then he won't be. It's really pretty simple."

McFadden actually came back into the game after straining the hamstring against Washington before shutting it down and watching the second half of the Raiders' 24-14 loss in street clothes.

"It was more of a burst-type deal," he said. "You can't get up to full speed and take off like you need to.

"I was feeling it in game mode, just trying to push through it. I got taped up and stuff and tried to push through it and then I felt it even more. So in the end, it was a smart decision that I needed to sit it down."

And yet, there remains a sliver of hope McFadden will play against the Chargers.

"Like I said, we're going to take it day to day and if I come in here and run like I need to tomorrow then you'll see me out there Sunday," McFadden said.

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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