By Ryan Leong
The Raiders two top runners are ruled out for Sunday’s game. That in itself is bad news but there are more injuries.
Star running back Darren McFadden and backup Mike Goodson both have high ankle sprains and neither is able to play at Baltimore.
McFadden was hurt early in the second quarter rolling his right ankle on the newly sodded Coliseum turf. Goodson was injured in the fourth quarter.
That means the Silver and Black will have to rely on fullback Marcel Reece and third string running back Taiwan Jones to run the ball. But Jones has run the ball only once and that was a fumble. Reece is more than capable but last week, he was the leading receiver catching eight passes for 95 yards but no rushing yards.
Rookie running back Jeremy Stewart who played at Stanford, has been on the practice squad and will travel with the team to Baltimore. Head coach Dennis Allen will decide on Saturday whether or not to activate him.
It appears if need be, quarterback Carson Palmer will pass the ball on every single down, and he threw it a career high 61 times last week.
In addition to the running back situation, defensive tackle Richard Seymour who has been dealing with a sore knee all season, injured his hamstring and won’t play. Cornerback Shawntae Spencer is still out with a sprained foot injury he sustained in Week Two and will miss his seventh straight game.
Seymour’s replacement will be Desmond Bryant. Bryant left the game last Sunday with an irregular heartbeat and stayed overnight at Eden Medical Center. He returned to practice with the team on Wednesday.
Starting right tackle Khalif Barnes made his return to practice for the first time since he injured his groin in Week Two. He is listed as questionable and is unlikely to play. His replacement Willie Smith will get the start for the seventh straight game.
Cornerback Ron Bartell is back after fracturing his shoulder blade in Week One. If he is activated to the 53-man roster he would play at right cornerback in place of Pat Lee. Michael Huff who this season made the switch from safety, will play at left cornerback.
The Ravens are much healthier than the Raiders but they do have a list of 11 players listed as probable. The only player ruled out is defensive end Pernell McPhee who will miss his second consecutive game with knee and thigh injuries. McPhee had two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee prior to training camp and has been limited throughout the season. In seven games he has 16 tackles and half a sack. His replacement will be veteran defensive end Arthur Jones.
The main reason for the lengthy injury list: last week, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh failed to list free safety Ed Reed who had a torn labrum on the team’s official injury report. As a result, the NFL fined the team $ 20,000 prompting Harbaugh to criticize the league’s injury reporting procedures. He now says he’ll list anything on the injury report but the NFL has moved on to other matters and won’t get into a procedural tit for tat.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (right shoulder, sprained right medial collateral ligament), Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda (right knee) and starting left offensive guard Bobbie Williams (ankle) are all listed as questionable.
DE Pernell McPhee (thigh)
DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder), G Bobbie Williams (ankle), G Marshal Yanda (ankle)
LB Josh Bynes (thigh), S Sean Considine (chest), LS Morgan Cox (shoulder), LB Dannell Ellerbe (finger), WR Jacoby Jones (toe), DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee), T Michael Oher (ankle), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder, knee), CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen), LB Terrell Suggs (ankle)
RB Mike Goodson (ankle), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot)
T Khalif Barnes (groin)
DT Desmond Bryant (cardiac), LB Miles Burris (elbow), LB Keenan Clayton (shoulder), CB Coye Francies (thumb), S Matt Giordano (hamstring), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), S Michael Mitchell (finger), TE Brandon Myers (shoulder), RB Marcel Reece (hamstring), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), T Willie Smith (knee), DE Dave Tollefson (shoulder)
- Probable: a 75% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
- Questionable: a 50% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
- Doubtful: a 25% chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
- Out: there is no chance the injured player will be medically cleared for the game
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.