In the Oakland Raiders loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they lost both running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson to high ankle sprains. Neither was able to participate in Wednesday's practice. Oakland did get right tackle Khalif Barnes back for the first time since his groin injury in week two and linebacker Aaron Curry was moved to the active roster.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is taking a wait and see approach with both McFadden and Goodson. Both took x-rays and an MRI that came back clean. It will not be decided until later in the week if they will be able to play against the Baltimore Ravens.
“Both Darren and Goodie did not practice today,” Allen said. “I am not going to make any decision on whether they are playing or not until Friday after practice. We will see how the rest of the week plays out. Obviously we have got a plan in place if either or both of those guys are not able to play.”
The plan at the running back position with McFadden and Goodson out would include Taiwan Jones and Marcel Reece. Neither has gotten much of a chance to carry the ball this year. Reece and Jones have carried the ball just one time apiece through eight games. Reece has come alive in the passing game. Last week, Reece caught eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Oakland did get some good news with the return of right tackle Khalif Barnes to the practice field. Barnes injured his groin in the week two loss to the Miami Dolphins and has not practiced or played since. His replacement, Willie Smith, has struggled mightily. Between penalties and getting beat regularly, Smith is not the answer for the Raiders. Despite being healthy enough to practice, it is unknown if Barnes will play Sunday.
“I’m going to consider it,” Allen said of Barnes being active Sunday. “I don’t know what the decision is going to be made yet, but the good thing is we don’t have to make that decision today. We get a chance to watch him all week in practice and then we can make a decision.”
Oakland activated linebacker Aaron Curry to the active roster yesterday and he is expected to play against Baltimore. Curry started the season on the PUP list because of a knee injury, but had practiced for a few weeks and now the Raiders are comfortable putting him on the field. He will see some snaps at linebacker and possibly special teams.
“I think at the end of the day it had a lot to do with getting another veteran, experienced linebacker that can get out there and help us and potentially even spell some guys so everybody doesn’t have to play quite so many plays all the time,” Allen said of Curry. “I think as many good players as you can have, as many experienced players as you can have, the better off you’re going to be.”
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