Running back Michael Bush will likely start for the Raiders Sunday. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
It appears more likely that the Raiders will be without running back Darren McFadden for Sunday’s game at the O.co Coliseum vs. the Denver Broncos.
Several reporters who cover the team reported seeing McFadden on crutches Wednesday, with his right foot still in a walking boot.
McFadden sprained the foot early in the Raiders’ 28-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Oct. 23, Oakland’s last game before its bye week.
Head coach Hue Jackson told the media McFadden has made progress, but he may hold him out against the 2-5 Broncos. By sitting out another game, it may ensure that the NFL’s eighth-leading rusher would be ready to play against the Chargers just four days later in a Thursday night game in San Diego.
“I really think if a guy is close, but he’s not totally where he needs to be, then I will take that into consideration,” Jackson told Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Because, obviously, we play again quickly the following week. But what I want to do is take the healthiest football team I can into this next game.”
Should McFadden not be able to play, Michael Bush will start for Oakland (4-3). After McFadden left the game vs. the Chiefs, Bush carried the load, rushing 17 times for 99 yards.
Quick rookie Taiwan Jones also would likely see more action.
Jackson says he’s grateful to have a No. 2 back the quality of Bush if his “bell cow,” McFadden, can’t play.
“He’s started, he’s had some big games and if Darren’s not able to go, Bush will rise up,” he said during a news conference Wednesday.
McFadden was particularly effective against the Broncos the past two seasons. In this year’s opener, he rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries; in 2010, he had rushing games of 165 yards – with three TDs – and 119 yards vs. Denver.
Teams have been able to run against Denver this season. The Broncos have allowed 117.7 yards per game on the ground.