By Steve Corkran
Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 1:07 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Every team says the bye week comes at a good time, regardless when it might come during a season. In the Raiders’ case, this time it’s wise to take them at their word.
Several media spotted running back Darren McFadden on crutches, with a protective boot on his right foot. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain was spotted with his left foot in a protective boot. Tight end Kevin Boss is one day removed from a concussion. And that doesn’t take into account the numerous players nicked and dinged from the first seven games this season, including kicker Sebastain Janikowski.
McFadden made it through only two carries against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday before he retreated to the locker room for treatment. Coach Hue Jackson held out McFadden the rest of the game.
McClain was in and out of the game, with Darryl Blackstock filling in whenever needed. Boss left the game for good after he was hit hard at the end of a catch-and-run play.
Fortunately for the Raiders, they don’t play another game for two weeks, Nov. 6 against the Denver Broncos. That gives them enough time to get back most of their players.
It also gives new quarterback Carson Palmer ample time to get in synch with his receivers, learn more than 10 percent of the playbook — that’s the figure he said he knew going into the Chiefs game — and get into better shape after being away from the NFL the past nine-plus months.
To that end, several of Oakland’s wide receivers said they intend to stick around during the team’s four off days this week (Thursday-Sunday) so that they can get in added work with Palmer.
“It’s going to be very important,” wide receiver Jacoby Ford said. “This is something that I definitely think we need. We’re going to have to work hard and get good with him, just to get the timing down and be here with him. That’s on my mind right now.”
Wide receiver Derek Hagan has worked out with Palmer in Southern California in recent offseasons. He said Palmer’s arm strength is fine. The issue is forgetting about what it’s like catching passes from Kyle Boller and Jason Campbell and learning what it’s like working with Palmer.
“We know we need to be here, and we’re going to be here,” Hagan said. “For us to get on the same page and get this thing clicking again, it’s obviously going to take more of an effort from us to put more time in just to make sure we’re doing those little things right.”
It’s not just the receivers who are hell-bent upon putting in the work. Rookie running back Taiwan Jones said he and his backfield mates are all-in, as well.
“It was pretty much clear once we lost, we all know that we have a lot of work to do,” Jones said. “We’re all committed to staying and getting Palmer in the rhythm he needs to be in.”
SCHILENS SAYS HE’S FINE
Wide receiver Chaz Schilens was among the seven players deactivated for the Chiefs game. When asked if he is hurt, Schilens said he is “fine” and getting ready to get on the field and get in some running.
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