Darren McFadden, running back
In a very scary incident during practice on Tuesday afternoon, Oakland Raiders running back Mike Goodson went down with a neck injury after a hard collision with linebacker Philip Wheeler. The 25-year-old was strapped to a backboard shortly after the episode and loaded into an ambulance, leaving players and spectators nervous about the extent of his injury.
After practice, quarterback Carson Palmer spoke to the media and remarked,
It’s scary when it happens to anybody. When you hear of a neck, back, or a head injury it scares you. [I’m] just so disappointed for Mike because he had been doing so good. He looked so explosive and so fast, and everybody was getting excited about what he could do for our team. We are all praying and hoping this isn’t serious.
Fortunately, the news was positive, and Goodson appears to be fine other than suffering from a sore neck. He appreciated the kind words that he received from fans and teammates, as well as the support of head coach Dennis Allen.
Goodson tweeted after his release from the hospital:
First Person I saw when I came out of my MRI was Dennis Allen! That means a lot to me! Great CoachAnd a ever better person! #Support— Mike Goodson (@GoodNplenty33) August 8, 2012
He later followed it with,
Thank y'all for all the Support and Prayers! Im blessed to have a Great family, Great Friends and The Best Fans in the World! #RAIDERNATION— Mike Goodson (@GoodNplenty33) August 8, 2012
If the Raiders stay healthy will they win the AFC West
It's great to see the outpouring of concern from fans, as well as the support from Coach Allen, and it gives me just another reason to believe there is definitely a positive change in the air involving the entire Oakland Raiders organization.
Unfortunately, Goodson's injury also highlights the need for the Oakland Raiders to be a healthy team this year, and because running back is one of the most important positions, the players need to stay healthy. With Darren McFadden's frequent injury issues, the loss of backup Michael Bush to the Chicago Bears was a little painful, and it's Goodson and Taiwan Jones who are competing for the primary backup position.
Now, Goodson's going to be out recovering from his neck injury, and Jones is currently nursing a hamstring issue. That leaves Lonyae Miller with an opportunity to shine in the exhibition game on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
On Wednesday afternoon, Miller commented,
I'm just glad to have the opportunity, glad to be out here and be a Raider. I'm coming in every day and working hard, pretty much showing what I can do out here.
Carson Palmer has been especially excited about the upcoming season and is passionate about the plan to lead the Raiders back to its storied history and commitment to excellence. He reiterated after Tuesday's practice that they are "out there working every day for a Super Bowl and nothing less."
While fans, including myself, have faith that they will make a positive turnaround this year, we'll have to hope that the injuries this year will be fewer and farther between. Every time a player gets hurt, my heart skips a beat, and I feel that anxiety rushing through me.
This year will be different. Keep them healthy, and "just win, baby!" It's time.