By JL Herrera
With all the backs injured, the Oakland Raiders will have a tough game this Sunday against AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs. The match was presumed to be a tough one anyway for the Raiders, even with a completely healthy squad.
The irony of the Raiders situation is that the Chiefs weakness is their inability to stop the running game. It is not too bad, but it is a weakness that could be taken advantage of. Yes, it would have been nice to see the Raiders with a healthy running game against an almost perfect team, but things do not look to be that way for Oakland on Sunday.
Running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings have hamstring injuries and were limited in practice this week. On top of that, fullback Marcel Reece was also limited for practice this week due to a knee injury. These three guys are a huge part of the Raiders running arsenal and the chances of them playing against the Chiefs are not confirmed.
Coach Dennis Allen addressed the media after Wednesday’s practice and stated, “You play with the guys that are healthy enough to play and if our guys are healthy enough to play, they’ll be out there Sunday.”
“We need all these guys to go out there and try to win this football game,” said Allen. “We’re going to take all the able bodies we have and healthy guys we have and go try to win a game.”
Coach Allen’s statement insinuated that his backs will be out there playing on Sunday. On the other hand, Allen has been ambiguous all season with his injured players.
Originally, Darren McFadden was going to rest until October 27, when the Raiders face the Pittsburgh Steelers. McFadden told the press earlier this week that he rather miss a couple of games than more than a few.
Now, McFadden was limited in practice and could see some action on Sunday with his backup basically on the same boat. Rashad Jennings is also recovering from a hamstring that he suffered in the first half of last Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
If McFadden and Jennings were to sit out, rookie Jeremy Stewart would step in as the leading running back. Stewart has not seen much action this season and only has two receptions under his belt with six yards total.
Marcel Reece’s backup is rookie Jamize Olawale, who has also seen little action. However, Olawale has a few more yards than Stewart under his belt.
During the week, the Oakland Raiders picked up defensive tackle Daniel Muir to support and add some spice to the defensive line. Muir has experience playing for the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, and the Indianapolis Colts. The Raiders decided to go with adding a defensive linemen to replace Stacy McGee who will most likely miss this Sunday’s match against the Chiefs.
Coach Allen told the press that Muir was added to strictly reinforce the D-line and add depth. Coach Allen also added that Muir was a good addition to the team.
The prognostic injury list is as follows:
- Running back Darren McFadden (hamstring)
- Running back Rashad Jennings (hamstring)
- Fullback Marcel Reese (knee)
- Takle Tony Pashos (groin)
Defensive tackle Stacy McGee (shoulder)
- Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle)
- Linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hamstring)
- Tackle Menelik Watson (calf)
- Center Stefen Wisniewski (knee)
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.