It wasn’t so long ago that Michael Bush was preferred over Darren McFadden amongst Raider Nation. McFadden’s first two injury filled seasons put a finger squarely on the trigger with the deadly “bust” label locked and loaded.
What a difference a thumb injury makes.
When Bush went down in camp with a broken thumb it cleared an uncontested path for Run-DMC to become the featured back in Hue Jackson’s offense.
Low and behold, McFadden has gotten off to an extraordinary start, running the competition ragged with two 100-yards efforts in four games. Check the leader board and you’ll see McFadden’s name amongst the NFL elite.
Naturally it was only a matter of time until the injury bug resurfaced. McFadden was nursing a sore hamstring through most of camp and now he seems unlikely to play this Sunday against the Chargers due to that same hamstring.
Paging Michael Bush. Michael Bush, would you please report to the starting lineup this Sunday.
The cast is off and after his first taste of prolonged action one week ago Bush is ready to go.
Fantasy owners are already scanning the waiver wire to pick him up. And why not? Two years ago Bush popped up on the NFL radar by running Chucky out of pro football. His combination of size and speed can make for a long afternoon for opposing defenses.
Waiting for Bush are the rival San Diego Chargers and their top tier run defense. Ironically, if the Raiders want to have any chance at winning they’re going to have to stop the run. Easier said than done, I know. However, if they have any designs on snapping the Chargers near decade of dominance the Silver and Black also need to pound the rock and chew-up clock.
Best case scenario, the Raiders have a running back controversy to bookend with the QB situation.
Worst case scenario…Rock Cartwright is starting the next week.
Either way, Bush will be getting a chance to put his stamp on the young season and hopefully helping to turn things around. Another loss to the Chargers and the Raiders could be a full three games off the lead in the AFC West.
Tom Cable sure hopes Bush can pick up where McFadden left off. When Bush ran all over the Buccaneers back in ’08 he helped to get Coach Cable the job. This time around a similar performance against the Chargers could help Cable to keep his 9 to 5.