Oakland Raiders running back Taiwan Jones was set to have a big day in NFL Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints before suffering an injury that will have major implications on the team, as well as fantasy owners everywhere.
Jones, who was expected to take most of the snaps with running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson out, suffered an apparent ankle injury and was listed as questionable for the remainder of the game according to the Raiders via Twitter:
RB Taiwan Jones @taiwanjonesnfl has an ankle injury, return is questionable.— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) November 18, 2012
Both McFadden and Goodson are battling high ankle sprains and are considered week-to-week. With Jones seemingly suffering from an ankle injury as well, it's panic time for both the Raiders and needy fantasy football owners everywhere. Let's take a look.
For Fantasy Owners
Owner who own a Raiders running back have been struggling for weeks with coming up for replacements as the backs continue to drop like flies. Even taking McFadden was ill-advised given his injury history.
There's not much left on the Raiders roster, but the injuries have opened up a hidden gem if fantasy owners are fast enough.
Marcel Reece, an undrafted free agent who has played for a few teams, has more than proven to be able to carry the ball. He's listed as a fullback, but can line up in the backfield, tight end and wide receiver.
Reece is a versatile threat that is not only lighting up scoreboards everywhere thank to injury—he may just steal the majority of the carries from everyone not named McFadden.
Fantasy owners would be wise to jump on Reece as soon as possible if they haven't already. He's a fantasy stud that has emerged as a result of the injuries to Taiwan Jones and others.
For the Raiders
While it sounds horrific for an NFL franchise to lose its first three running backs on the depth chart to injury, it's not an issue for the Raiders.
Jones was the third back behind McFadden and Goodson, but even losing him is not that big of a loss in the grand scheme of things considering how well the aforementioned Reece has played.
After Jones went down in Week 11 against the Saints, Reece came in and put up over 150 yards from scrimmage through the running and passing attack combined.
It's a serious issue suddenly having no depth behind Reece with the other three backs out, but his versatility and play making ability give the Raiders a valuable weapon that allows them to remain competitive until the others heal.
The Raiders are fine without Jones, but at some point someone is going to have to get healthy to help Reece carry the load.