The Raiders have been struggling to run the ball with a healthy Darren McFadden for most of this season.
Now that McFadden and backup Mike Goodson are both dealing with high ankle sprains that put their status in doubt for this week, the Raiders could have even more concerns.
Coach Dennis Allen said X-rays and an MRI on McFadden came back negative and Goodson was undergoing an MRI on Monday. He said the team would have to see how both players respond and he would not rule them out yet for when the Raiders (3-5) play in Baltimore against the Ravens (6-2) on Sunday.
McFadden hurt his right ankle on the first or second carry of the game and tried to play through it before leaving for good just before halftime. McFadden had just seven carries for 17 yards and caught two passes for no yards in the loss.
“Darren wanted to be back out there, so that wasn’t a case where you risk any further injury,” Allen said. “Darren is a competitor, he wanted to be back out there, so we put him back out there. Then came in at halftime, he just wasn’t going to be able to do it, so we kept him out the rest of the game.”
McFadden was one of the most dynamic backs in the league the past two seasons when healthy. But he missed 19 games over his first four seasons — including nine last season — with foot, toe, shoulder, knee and hamstring injuries.
While he has been healthy so far this year, he has been far from effective, rushing for just 455 yards and two touchdowns in eight games. His 3.3 yards per carry average is sixth-worst in the league and the lowest for a Raiders player since Pete Banaszak’s 3.2 average in 1976.
Goodson has shown flashes at tailback with 111 yards on 17 carries and 14 catches for 173 yards but might not be able to go.
That leaves Taiwan Jones as the only healthy halfback on the roster. Jones has one carry and one reception all season and has been limited by injuries and ball-security issues.