Running back Darren McFadden, moving rather stiffly, made his way through the locker room Monday only long enough to say, “I’m feeling all right’’ before making an exit, stage right.
Judging not from any solid information other than speculation based what has transpired so far this season with Team Hamstring, we won’t see McFadden this week against the San Diego Chargers, and possibly longer.
McFadden is the NFL’s third leading rusher with 392 yards and he’s also caught 16 passes for 162 yards. He surpassed his entire 2009 12-game yardage total (357 yards) against Houston before pulling up on a 23-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
No one seems quite sure why the Raiders have been so susceptible to hamstring pulls, although one player quipped, “We’re just too fast, I guess.’’
Since running back Michael Bennett also didn’t finish Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans with a hamstring injury, it could be a lot of Bush with a dash of Rock Cartwright as the Raiders look to snap a 13-game losing streak against their AFC West rival.
Bush, coming off a 7-carry, 40-yard game which included a 2-yard touchdown run, said he’s up to the task. It was his second game back after undergoing surgery for a fractured thumb.
He said it’s no different than than the three-week period in training camp when McFadden was out of action because _ you guessed it _ a hamstring pull.
“I’m ready, just like at the beginning of the year or the preseason when he was out I had to step in and do the same thing, then the tables were turned when I was out and he had to do the same thing,’’ Bush said. “Like I said, it’s always a good problem to have when you have more than one back.’’
Bush plans on discarding the wrap on his left thumb this week and carrying the ball with his natural (left) hand after adjusting using his right hand against Arizona and Houston.
“Today is five weeks since I had the injury so this week I’m going to practice without the whole thing so I can get back to my natural ways and not have to worry about anything,’’ McFadden said. “I mean, I caught the ball good, didn’t feel any pain when I was using it, so I think I’m good to go.’’
If you’re keeping score at home, Bennett becomes the 11th different player to be identified with a hamstring injury since the beginning of training camp. Darren McFadden injured his left hamstring in training camp and his right one Sunday.
Update: Make that 12. Quentin Groves has a hamstring injury coming out of the Houston game, Cable said.
The others are cornerback Walter McFadden, linebacker Ricky Brown, left guard Robert Gallery, defensive tackle Richard Seymour, cornerback Chris Johnson, quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, wide receiver Paul Hubbard (since released) and wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins.
That doesn’t include an absence of a few days during training camp by Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was “fatigued” and appeared to have one of his legs wrapped above the knee while watching practice one day.
Coach Tom Cable said earlier this year it’s a problem the Raiders would look hard at to try and rectify and hinted that overtraining in the offseason could be an issue.
More to come after Cable’s press briefing at 2 p.m. . . .