By JL Herrera
The Oakland Raiders are hoping for a healthy squad this Sunday when they face the San Diego Chargers in Oakland. Last Sunday against the Washington Redskins, there were more than a few injuries that could turn out to be very costly for the Raiders this Sunday. Coach Dennis Allen is hoping for healing time this week before Sunday’s game. A home win is very much needed for the Raiders.
The three major legs that will be needed Sunday against the Chargers are quarterback Terrelle Pryor, fullback Marcel Reece, and running back Darren McFadden. Reece had an MRI that came back negative, McFadden is still questionable with a hamstring strain, and Pryor is still bouncing back from a concussion suffered two Mondays ago.
“It’s really a matter of when’s he going to be physically able to go,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen of Reece after the game on Sunday. “It’s not a surgical procedure or anything like that that needs to be done. It’s just, whenever he’s ready to go.”
As for running back Darren McFadden, Allen told the press that he was not sure if the hamstring strain was minor or major. Coach Allen did add that he does not expect McFadden to be out for an extended period of time. He concluded that the Raiders and McFadden will take this one day at a time.
Darren McFadden has never played more than 13 games in an NFL season with the Oakland Raiders. McFadden’s inability to stay healthy for a full season has plagued the Raiders the last three years. Could this be another season with an unhealthy McFadden?
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was cleared last Friday to play against the Washington Redskins, but was benched due to exhibiting symptoms, such as sensitivity to light. Pryor’s request for a tinted shield on his helmet was taken as a warning sign, so the Raiders and Coach Allen decided to bench Pryor last Sunday.
Coach Dennis Allen admitted that he did go beyond the NFL mandated-league protocol when dealing with Pryor’s concussion, but he did it to make sure and not take any risks.
“We wanted to make sure we exercised extreme caution in his situation and we probably went a little bit above and beyond what the typical protocol would be and it was just deemed that it wasn’t worth the risk.”
Allen has not revealed if Pryor will be starting in this Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
Additionally, center guard Stefen Wisniewski had a knee sprain and rookie defensive tackle Stacy McGee suffered a shoulder issue. No reports were given about their playing status for Sunday.
At the very least, the backups for the three questionable players are available. Jamize Olawale is the backup fullback that could fill in for Marcel Reece. Olawale played his first game against the Redskins last Sunday and got one reception for 11 yards.
Darren McFadden’s back up, Rashad Jennings, has not been explosive but he’s done OK for the little time that he’s had with the ball in the past four games. If McFadden is not cleared to play this Sunday, Jennings should get a chance to do his thing.
As for the quarterback situation, Matt Flynn would not or should not be the answer. Flynn was supposed to be the Raiders’ saving grace Sunday and failed to even look promising. If Coach Allen goes with a backup, he is better off with third-stringer Matthew McGloin.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.