Hue Jackson won’t use them as an excuse but all those injuries certainly aren’t helping his team’s hopes of making the playoffs. Once again the usual suspects of a once explosive Oakland offense were missing from practice. Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore headline a long list of Raiders still on the mend.
Making matters worse there is absolutely no timetable for their return.
In addition to the men previously mentioned Taiwan Jones, Chaz Schilens and Big John Henderson were all out of action today as well. Jones hasn’t played in a couple of weeks while Schilens and Henderson are both nursing injuries acquired in Miami. Henderson’s presence will be sorely missed if he can’t go. Oakland will be even thinner on the defensive line and though Big John’s specialty is stopping the run it is always nice to have a big body drawing extra blockers against a QB with a quick release.
At this point Coach Jackson has to be hopeful yet must be realistic as well. The reality is you can’t plan on having players that aren’t yet cleared to play. Therefore he’s got to prepare for the best team in football thinking he once again will not have all his offensive weapons at his disposal.
Normally the term any given Sunday would apply. This Sunday is different than most others. Aaron Rodgers and company are as dialed in as any team has been in recent memory. Not even the New England Epic Fails of ’08 were as sharp week in and week out as this Packer squad.
That doesn’t mean the Raiders don’t have a chance. While that may be hard to argue given the way they belly flopped in South Beach it does stand to reason that anything is possible.
However I’d say there is a better chance of Oakland winning Sunday than there is of all their walking wounded taking the field soon. If I were to give odds then the safest bet might be on anybody but McFadden. There is really nothing that indicates Run DMC will play again this season. He has hardly done more than jogged since straining his foot over a month ago and still McFadden isn’t any closer to coming back.
Beyond Sunday the Raiders are facing a tough test. They’ve got some hungry teams on their schedule in addition to praying for Mile High Jesus to suddenly reverse his roll and lead the Broncos back to the bottom of the division. Again, not impossible but certainly difficult at best.