"Iffy." "Uncertain." These are the words currently being used to describe Darren McFadden's chances of playing this Sunday, and none of them look too positive.
Quick update on DMcFadden: he's feeling much better, iffy for Sunday vs NO, should play vs Cincy— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) November 13, 2012
The good news, of course, is there's at least a date in mind for a possible return. The bad news is, that date won't be in time to help the Oakland Raiders rebound from a two-game losing streak this Sunday. But better late than never.
McFadden missed last week's 55-20 loss to Baltimore with a high ankle sprain, a notoriously difficult injury to deal with. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to recover from; sometimes it takes a month or more. In his and Mike Goodson's absence, the Raiders gained just 72 yards on the ground, averaging 3.0 yards per attempt.
Another week out of commission isn't music to the ears of McFadden's fantasy owners, who are quickly beginning to see the talented running back as a bust—at least this season.
In 2010, he rushed for 1,664 yards and 10 touchdowns; last season, he halved that production, finishing with five scores and 768 yards. This season, fantasy owners are getting just 7.6 points out of him per week, and he's averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
The annoying thing is, McFadden could have been very useful against the Saints in Week 11. New Orleans boasts the league's second-worst rush defense, allowing an average of 162.0 yards per game on the ground. And the Raiders, owners of the NFL's second-worst rushing offense, need all the help they can get, especially considering Goodson could also be out for a while with the same injury.
Oakland also could have used McFadden as the desperation to bounce back grows. The Raiders are in the midst of a bad stretch over the last two weeks in which they have dropped two straight games and have allowed 48.5 points per game in those two losses.
By all indications, they need help, but it won't come from McFadden. Not this week.