We know that Hue Jackson likes to play it safe when it comes to injuries. He’s not your typical old-school ball coach that tells his guys to rub a little dirt on it and get back to work. Coach Jackson likes to let the healing process unfold. We learned this by how quickly he shutdown many of his players in camp this offseason. We’ve also learned that he is unwilling to even test Darren McFadden’s foot as he knows Run DMC will be key for there to be any playoffs in the near future.
McFadden has had almost an entire month to rest. When McFadden first sustained his injury in the first quarter against Kansas City he was immediately removed and hasn’t seen any action since.
Now there is no shame in taking a cautious approach. However there is great concern if McFadden’s foot is fare worse than is being let on.
This week will go a long way in determining McFadden’s health. Being that Run DMC rolls with the injury bug like Tim Tebow does with the Bible it goes without saying that every moment of McFadden’s career is tenuous. You never know when a simple ding is going to become a season changer. Hopefully this foot strain is the former and not the latter.
Should McFadden again be held out of practice then we’ll know that there are serious concerns. After a bye week and now another long week of prep coming off a Thursday game, McFadden has had plenty of time for rest and therapy. If there is no progress being made then this will be the week that Coach Jackson won’t be able to double talk his way around the issue.
Now it doesn’t make any sense for the Raiders to force McFadden back onto the field if he isn’t ready. They’ve got to be thinking long term. Beyond this season the Raiders are looking to build another Silver and Black dynasty. McFadden figures to be a big part of that process.
That is, if he can stay healthy.
This is the same song and dance with the bitterly unlucky runner. Last season McFadden was finally healthy enough to show the world what he can do. Mind you he still missed time due to injury. This year began with that ominously odd orbital injury McFadden sustained in camp. He bounced back from that just fine. This injury is a beast of a much different nature.
McFadden has a history of foot injuries. Therefore the Raiders can’t be too safe. But knowing the difference between playing it safe or simply hoping for a miracle will prove crucial this week. We’ll learn more as the week unfolds. Depending on McFadden’s status we could get a better idea of exactly what the Raiders are up against as they push for the playoffs.