OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 3: Running Back Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raider tries to avoid the tackle of linebacker Zac Diles #54 of the Houston Texans during an NFL football game October 3, 2010 at The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Texans won the game 31-24. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Darren McFadden;Zac Diles
There are a number of overachieving cult heroes on this almost-.500 Oakland Raiders football team. But most weeks this season, a bunch of them have been hurt.
Expect more of the same this week against the San Francisco 49ers. Based on who's practicing and who's in the hot tub, we can make some projections as to which guys will play Sunday and which guys will just be coming back from Saturday night's Exotic Erotic Ball.
The big question for the Raiders is at quarterback, and signs point to Jason Campbell getting the start. Bruce Gradkowski has been promised the job when healthy, but he's still nursing a sore right shoulder.
Gradkowski did not practice Wednesday, the San Jose Mercury News reports, and Campbell is getting all of the work with the first team.
Also back working with the first team is surprise hero Darren McFadden. McFadden missed the Chargers game with a pulled hamstring, but his 98 yards-per-game average is the fourth-best of all running backs in the NFL.
McFadden's injury is the 12th hamstring pull on the Raiders roster this season.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wishes more of these hamstring inuries would start happening to the Miami Heat.