Before you hit that panic button let’s get it clear that there is nothing official on Darren McFadden’s status for this Sunday. Then again there is nothing official at all on McFadden’s status for the rest of this season.
Yesterday Hue Jackson addressed questions of McFadden’s health and his answers left a lot of room for speculation.
“I think he’ll be back, I really do. When that is, I don’t have an answer.”
“There’s been urgency for weeks to get all of our players back as fast as we can. I’m not a doctor. I’m the coach. So, when they tell me I can have these guys back is when I’ll get them. Do I want him back? I wanted him four weeks ago. ”
Now I wasn’t in the room when Coach Jackson gave those quotes to Steve Corkran. However you can almost hear the frustration in his word choice. Cleary Jackson is facing the very real possibility of making one last push for the playoffs without Run DMC.
The real concern is that there was never a definitive timeline for McFadden’s return. That alone should have been alarming. Yet each week there is always the faint glimmer of hope that the next week will be the return of Run DMC. Jackson still believes McFadden will be back before season’s end. Problem is his return could be a day late and a dollar short for Oakland’s suddenly slipping playoff hopes.
We all know McFadden’s struggles with staying healthy. The year he puts in a full 16 games will be the moment he works his way into MVP talk. Please believe that!
The problem is waiting for that day to come.
All of a sudden Oakland will have to take a long look at giving Michael Bush legit cash as an insurance policy. No doubt teams will be lining up to sign the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. This is precisely why I felt the Raiders did themselves no favors by failing to open contract talks with Bush once the lockout was lifted. They held all the cards as Bush was a restricted FA and could have signed him for significantly less than what he’ll get paid after this season’s performance.
So until we get a firm confirmation all of us, Coach Jackson included, are playing the waiting game for McFadden’s return. Whenever that may be.