Running back Darren McFadden is among a handful of starters not at practice today, though tight end Brandon Myers is back on the field only three days after he suffered his second concussion of the season.
McFadden and primary backup Mike Goodson are not practicing today as a result of the high-ankle sprains they suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 days ago. It’s likely that coach Dennis Allen will wait until Friday before deciding whether either can play this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
In the interim, Taiwan Jones, Jeremy Stewart and Marcel Reece are taking snaps at running back, as they did last week during the absence of McFadden and Goodson. All three played against the Ravens.
A Yahoo Sports report said there’s a chance that McFadden will play Sunday. Soon thereafter, the same site said McFadden is “iffy” for Sunday.
It says here, if McFadden isn’t able to practice at all this week, then he isn’t playing Sunday. Also, it’s a long way from being in a walking boot Monday to playing in a game six days later.
— Myers’ return bodes well for his playing Sunday. We won’t know until after Allen addressed the media whether Myers passed all the league-mandated tests for players that suffer a concussion.
Players aren’t allowed to participate in full-contact drills or play in games until they are cleared by a doctor.
Cornerback Michael Huff also is well enough to practice today despite suffering a calf injury against the Ravens.
— Recently signed linebacker Omar Gaither is at practice today. He is wearing No. 53 and taking part in all the drills.
— Defensive tackle Richard Seymour, strong safety Tyvon Branch and free safety Matt Giordano also aren’t practicing today.
Seymour missed practice all last week and didn’t play against the Ravens because of knee and hamstring issues. Branch (neck) and Giordano (concussion) suffered injuries against the Ravens.
— At one point today, Allen was quite hands on with the defense as it went through a full-unit drill. He said Monday that he has been pretty involved with the defense all along.
“I’ve been very involved in what we do game-planning-wise defensively,” Allen said. “But I’ll look at any avenue, or anything we need to do, that gives us a chance and helps us win football games.”
A short time later, Allen watched the offense go through its paces.
— Khalif Barnes is at practice today and working toward a return to the starting lineup at right offensive tackle.
Barnes missed the past seven games while recovering from a groin injury that required surgery. Allen said he expects Barnes to reclaim his spot against the Saints.
Willie Smith started the past seven games. Rookie Tony Bergstrom replaced Smith for 15 plays against the Ravens.