Perhaps he spoke too early.
McFadden hurt his right ankle on the first or second carry of the game on Sunday and tried to play through the pain before leaving before halftime. He had just seven carries for 17 yards and caught two passes for no yards in the Raiders loss.
Coach Dennis Allen said X-rays on McFadden came back negative, and he would see how his wide receiver is feeling, but hasn't ruled him out for Sunday's games against the Baltimore Ravens. Teammate Mike Goodson also injured his ankle in the game on Sunday. He underwent an MRI on Monday. It is speculated that both players have high ankle sprains, which can be a long recovery.
"Darren wanted to be back out there, so that wasn't a case where you risk any further injury. Darren is a competitor, he wanted to be back out there, so we put him back out there. Then came in at halftime, he just wasn't going to be able to do it, so we kept him out the rest of the game," said Allen.
When McFadden is completely healthy, he is the best of the best. But unfortunately, his health can be unreliable, suffering from foot, toe, shoulder, knee, and hamstring injuries that have kept him out 19 games over four seasons. Last season alone he missed nine games because of a foot injury.
McFadden hadn't thus far this season captured the magic he has shown previously, rushing 455 yards and two touchdowns in eight games. His 3.3 yards per carry average is sixth worst in the league and the lowest for a Raiders player since Pete Banaszak's 3.2 average in 1976. Ouch.
Goodson has had some flashes of brilliance at tailback with 111 yards on 17 carries and 14 catches for 173 yards. With these two key players out, Taiwan Jones is the only player left to pick up where his teammates have been lacking. However, he has only one carry and one reception all season and he too has been suffering from injuries.
"That's obviously something that he's got to improve on. He's got to make sure that he can protect the football and he's got to make sure that he understands what his assignments are. As we get more comfortable with those things, he'll earn more playing time," said Allen.
In the meantime, let's hope McFadden and Goodson recuperate and heal quickly. The Raiders are 3-5 so far this season.
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