An ESPN report Thursday said Raiders running back Darren McFadden met with Dr. Robert Anderson last week in an attempt to get a better feel for whether he can return this season from the midfoot sprain that has forced him to miss the past seven games.
McFadden reportedly underwent a slew of tests — C-T scans, MRIs and X-rays — on his right foot. Dr. Anderson told McFadden that the foot hasn’t healed all the way and that, for McFadden to play again this season, he would have to find a way to deal with the pain.
McFadden has not spoken with the media since he suffered the injury Oct. 23. Jackson on Thursday refused to rule out McFadden for Saturday’s game against the Chiefs.
“Obviously, it doesn’t look great if a guy’s not out here moving around,” Jackson said of McFadden, wide receiver Jacoby Ford, free safety Michael Huff and defensive tackle John Henderson. “But they’re not totally ruled out as of yet.”
That determination will come Friday, the day the Raiders fly to Kansas City.
McFadden jogged and worked on lateral movements with a team trainer on Tuesday. Jackson said McFadden was sore, as expected, Wednesday as a result of the strenuous workout.
It’s tough to envision McFadden playing Saturday, given he hasn’t performed any football-related activities for 60 days. He certainly won’t play in the regular-season finale against the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 1 unless the Raiders still are in playoff contention.
The Raiders would be eliminated from playoff contention Saturday if they lose to the Chiefs, the Denver Broncos beat the Buffalo Bills and either the New York Jets or Cincinnati Bengals win.
BRESNAHAN ANSWERS TOUGH QUESTIONS
Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan was criticized for the way his defense performed late in the fourth quarter of a 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lion on Sunday.
The Lions cobbled together back-to-back scoring drives that covered 17 plays and 169 yards in 4 minutes, 23 seconds, and resulted in touchdowns for the come-from-behind victory.
Bresnahan disputed the notion that the Raiders played a prevent defense or that the scheme changed in any way because of the seemingly insurmountable lead.
“If you look at the game, we didn’t do that,” Bresnahan said. “We stayed with a four-man rush, we stayed with our coverage approach.”
The problem was execution, he said. In particular, a 48-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Calvin Johnson never should have happened, regardless of the fact Johnson was covered by middle linebacker Rolando McClain and backup safety Jerome Boyd.
Bresnahan admitted the McClain and Boyd lost sight of the ball as it floated through the air and into Johnson’s hands despite Johnson having to break off his route and come back for the ball, with McClain and Boyd flanking Johnson.
“There’s things, though, that happened at the beginning of the play that we didn’t execute properly to disrupt the whole timing of that route, and I put that on my shoulders because we didn’t get it done,” Bresnahan said. “We did not get it done and we will because, when you have one red dot, that red dot is not going to do what he did to us.”
The “red dot” refers to the target on Johnson going into the game as the one player the Raiders had to stop, at all costs.
Johnson caught nine passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
“We only had one target,” Bresnahan said. “At the end of the day, we failed because, when you allow somebody to have 200-plus yards in receiving yardage and making impact plays like he did, we obviously didn’t do a good enough job on defense.”
As for using McClain and Boyd on Johnson, instead of No. 1 cornerback Stanford Routt, Bresnahan seemed content with the alignment.
“At this time, (Boyd’s) our starting safety and that’s our package,” Bresnahan said. “Our ‘Mike’ (middle) linebacker is a middle-of-the-field player but not over the top. He’s an inside player looking for the in routes, and our safety is over the top. Again, that’s stuff that we’ll handle in our room. But, no, when you look at the entire play, it should never have gotten to that (point).”
ODDS AND ENDS
Jackson said there’s a realistic shot of Denarius Moore returning punts against the Chiefs. Bryan McCann and T.J. Houshmandzadeh handled that role against the Lions, while Moore eased his way back into the lineup after missing three games.
“There’s a good chance he could be back out there and give us a little spark and a little lift in another area for our football team,” Jackson said of Moore.
Running back Michael Bush (shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday. However, he should be at full strength for the Chiefs game.
“Mike will be fine,” Jackson said. “Mike’s a warrior. He’ll show up and he’ll play well.”
Jackson added that Bush shouldn’t be as worn down on the heels of back-to-back games in which he carried the ball fewer than 20 times.
“He’s carried the ball quite a bit,” Jackson said. “There was a stretch there where he was averaging 30 attempts a game. At some point in time that catches up to you. He hasn’t carried as much the past couple of weeks. We’ve played some physical teams and he’s been slamming that ball up in there the way you have to run the ball.”
Offensive coordinator Al Saunders said the Raiders need to rely upon Bush more than they have the past two games.
“Our back has been tagged a little bit as the one to stop going into the games,” Saunders said. “He’s done a terrific job for us. We have to be more of a balanced attack. When we’re passing and running with efficiency, your running game becomes that much better.”
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