The Raiders not only took a beating on the scoreboard Sunday, but on the field.
As Oakland, now 3-5 after the 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay, starts preparations today for its game this coming Sunday against the Ravens in Baltimore, it has a long list of injured players, many who may be doubtful to play Game No. 9.
Standout running back Darren McFadden, who had to leave the game against the Bucs in the second quarter, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. His backup, Mike Goodson, injured an ankle in the fourth quarter.
Safety Matt Giordano strained a hamstring. Defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was taken to the hospital because of an accelerated heartbeat and had to stay overnight for observation. Another defensive tackle, Tommy Kelly, suffered a chest injury.
The Raiders already had been hampered going into the game against Tampa Bay because of injuries to two starting cornerbacks (Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer), offensive tackle Khalif Barnes and linebacker Aaron Curry (who could soon be activated).
The status of McFadden and Goodson will be of particular concern this week.
McFadden had to leave after carrying the ball just seven times for 17 yards.
“He’s got an ankle,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “I’m not sure the extent of it. … We’ll have to obviously take a look at it and see where he’s at.”
The Raiders said that McFadden is scheduled to have an MRI exam Monday.
Goodson, meanwhile, injured his ankle after catching a short pass early in the fourth quarter. Allen said Goodson did not need an X-ray.
If both McFadden and Goodson are unable to play against the Ravens, Oakland would have to turn to second-year running back Taiwan Jones or fullback Marcel Reece, who has taken some reps at tailback in games and practice.
“When you lose your top two runners, yeah, it limits you,” Allen told Comcast Sportsnet after Sunday’s loss. “As you saw, we had Marcel in at the end of the game running some tailback plays in there. When we have injuries, it changes what you’re able to do.”
Oakland went into this season expecting its offensive strength to be its running game, with a healthy McFadden back from the Lisfranc injury that cut his season in half in 2011.
But, that hasn’t been the case.
Until Sunday, McFadden was healthy, but the Raiders have been unable to consistently open holes for him with a new zone-blocking scheme.
Now, with McFadden’s status in doubt against the Ravens, the Raiders could be a very one-dimensional offense – reliant on Carson Palmer’s passing – in Baltimore this Sunday.