Does Darren McFadden Injury Mean Carson Palmer Needs to Shoulder Load?

Adam OdekirkContributor IIOctober 23, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at Coliseum on October 23, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders made the trade for Carson Palmer with this scenario in mind, but they did not plan on it potentially playing out in Palmer's first game with the Raiders.

If the Raiders thought that McFadden was thoroughly durable and that the sum of their parts in the rushing game could overcome the potential loss of McFadden for any period of time, the trade would have never happened for Palmer.

That time could be now, as the extent of McFadden's injury is yet unknown, but seems serious. Carson Palmer had to come in and try to bail out the Raiders in the second half, but it was clear that the rusty Palmer was not ready for NFL game action.

Ready or not, Palmer is going to have to prove sooner than later that the king's ransom given up by Oakland for him was worth it, as the offense is now going to sink or swim based on his play.

Coach Hue Jackson hitched his wagon to Palmer immediately upon the quarterback's entrance to the practice facility in Oakland. Now the pair will need to work together to achieve the goal of reaching the AFC playoffs.

Michael Bush and Taiwan Jones are going to be fine in the Hue Jackson rushing attack, but it is McFadden who truly makes the offense dynamic.

Most opposing defenses already have had the idea that they are going to try and force the Raiders to beat them through the air, and the thought behind adding Palmer was that he was a QB who truly could do that.

If Palmer can get up to speed, then the Raiders are going to have a nice balance on offense, but without McFadden, they are going to need to be more than "nice" through the air to stay competitive.

Suffice it to say that even before McFadden's injury, the drive to the playoffs for Oakland was going to be heavily predicated on Palmer's arm and its productivity. Without McFadden, though, Palmer's arms, shoulders and everything else are going to be heavily relied upon to lead Oakland to victory.