Raiders’ McFadden now battling ankle injury

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Darren McFadden is injured again.

After five carries for 13 yards in the Oakland Raiders‘ 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, the Raiders running back missed practice Wednesday with an ankle injury. This after he missed the previous three games with a strained right hamstring.

“He actually injured the ankle in the game the other day and it was [hurt] more than what we had initially thought,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “He wasn’t able to go today and hopefully we’ll be able to get him out there soon, but I don’t know.”

The oft-injured McFadden has never played more than 13 games in his star-crossed six-year career and has already missed four this season and, having missed Wednesday’s practice, is likely to miss Sunday’s game at the New York Jets.

McFadden, the No. 4 overall draft pick out of Arkansas in 2008 and a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, has missed NFL games due to toe, knee, hamstring, foot, ankle and hamstring injuries thus far. He is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Before appearing against the Cowboys, McFadden had missed 17 of the Raiders’ previous 36 games.

“Like you said, man, there’s always something,” McFadden said the week of the Cowboys game. “But you just try to stay positive and just keep working hard and keep moving forward.”

McFadden, who is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, just ahead of last year’s career-worst 3.3 average, is not the only injured Raiders running back, though. Rashad Jennings has yet to be fully cleared from the concussion he suffered at Dallas so he practiced limited Wednesday, and Jeremy Stewart, who injured a knee and ankle against the Cowboys, did not practice.

As such, Taiwan Jones, who made the conversion to cornerback this season and has impressed with his special teams play as a gunner, was back taking practice reps at running back Wednesday.

“Once I got out there, everything started coming naturally, like you said, just like riding a bike,” Jones said. “The more reps I got, the more comfortable I was.

“We’ve got a lot of backs down and you don’t know what’s going to happen with Rashad so, just in case. You’ve got to prepare for the worst.”

Jones, who is known for his speed as much as his ball security issues, had not carried the ball since last season.

“My mindset is, when I’m given the opportunity to do something, I’m going to make the most of it,” Jones said. “So whatever thoughts the coaches have, [whatever] they tell me. … to do, and I’m here to do it.”

  • Covered Raiders for and Sacramento Bee for eight years
  • Member of Pro Football Writers Association
  • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

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