Darren McFadden is hurt. Again. While it is tempting just to copy and paste from one of the countless articles since 2008 centered on this very topic, I will resist. This time around it is not the knee, nor the ankle, not the shoulder, not the foot, not the toe but the hamstring. Interestingly enough, listing his injuries somehow takes on a Dr. Seuss-esque quality in my mind.
I am McFadden
McFadden I am
I will not play 10 games, here nor there
I will not play in Denver, or anywhere!
I will not rush for 1,000 yards, here nor there
I will not rush in KC, or anywhere!
Not on a grassy field
Not until I am fully healed
I could not, would not
Play 10 games, here nor there
While Dr. Seuss lived up to his potential, the Raiders supposed offensive force hasn’t even come close. Just like all the years before, THIS was supposed to be the year. He made it through one average game, one terrible game, and one amazing performance before coming up lame once more. Dennis Allen remains optimistic, although he won’t commit to this week. The fact of the matter is that it is his hammy. Similar to the high ankle sprain, it is a running back’s worst nightmare. It could feel better for weeks, then snap. Or it could never fully recover until the offseason.
McFadden is in a terrible place and Oakland Raider Faithful should be concerned. Luckily, it isn’t like they haven’t faced this dilemma before. The problem now is that Marcel Reece is also hurting and may not be 100% by the start of Sunday’s match up with the resurgent San Diego Chargers. Philip Rivers has been playing out of his mind during the first four weeks and the Chargers do not look nearly as dead as many predicted. Catching the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos will be out of the realm of possibility if the Raiders drop this match up.
The question that needs to be answered is whether or not McFadden will ever be the back that Al Davis envisioned. I remember watching him play at Arkansas in 2007 and he looked like a “can’t miss” prospect. He was dominating college competition with a combination of speed and size reminiscent of Bo Jackson. Unfortunately for Raiders’ fans injuries have derailed a once promising career. McFadden is still young and could prove to be healthy as he closes in on his 30s. However, one 1,000 yard season in his first five years and an unseemly average of 11.4 games per year is a difficult past to overcome.