You can’t ever put too much stock in rumors, rumblings or general conjecture. Unfortunately in this day and age opinion seems to matter more than fact. However when it comes to Darren McFadden’s health this year the fact of the matter remains that since his foot sprain the Run has been removed from DMC.
McFadden’s most noteworthy moment since that injury has been the occasional jog around practice to test his foot. Consider this fact as well, the Houston Texans shutdown Matt Schaub for the season when he suffered a similar injury. Apparently the Raiders and Hue Jackson have just been holding out hope that McFadden could miraculously heal in a timely manner.
Yesterday McFadden’s name caused a minimal stir when the Raiders stated their standout runner was named an alternate for the Pro Bowl. That McFadden would be up for a trip to Hawaii after only playing half a season says a lot.
Unfortunately it doesn’t say much about his prospects to play again this season for the Raiders.
Bill Williamson posted a brief blurb on his AFC West blog yesterday regarding some news musing for the Pro Bowl selections. One sentence in particular stood out though it didn’t come as much of a surprise.
According to what Williamson is hearing he states McFadden is a “long shot to play Sunday”.
Again, far from surprising yet none the less calls into question how the Raiders have gone about handling this entire situation.
I don’t doubt for a second that McFadden has been getting daily if not hourly attention on his bad wheel. However by continuously stringing out this entire process you’ve got to wonder if the injury was initially downplayed, mishandled or that the severity was just flat out ignored.
Coach Jackson is no doctor so he can only go off of what the medical staff tells him. It’s also not like Jackson could have put McFadden’s roster spot to better use. Not with all the injuries the Raiders have endured this season.
Still, this whole hope-for-the-best-to-happen approach hasn’t yielded any results. The Raiders stood back and watched as Michael Bush was run into the ground. It is not coincidence that Bush’s productivity has dipped in recent weeks. He’s been the only runner touching the rock after all. There was never an effort made to find a serviceable back once Taiwan Jones went down too.
Now far be it for me to read more into this entire process than what has been reported – which hasn’t been much. It just seems odd that Raiders have allowed McFadden’s status to play out the way it has. No team seems to have been phased by potentially preparing for Run DMC over the course of the last two months. When a guy isn’t practicing then his chances of playing are as likely as Tim Tebow pushing Drew Brees out of the record book.
Either way it looks like another Sunday without McFadden.
But this is about the Raiders, not a single player. Of course we’d all love to see Run DMC return in time for the biggest game of the year. Fact of the matter is that every man on the field wearing silver and black Sunday will have a chance to make a play to push this team into the playoffs. One horse won’t stop this show and that is a fact that will never change.