Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 29, 2008
Darren's hurting toes

ALAMEDA - Remember when LeBron James shook Adidas for Nike when he made the jump from high school to the NBA?

That was a big deal because Nike paid James well to wear the Swoosh.

What shoes NFL players wear isn't nearly as big a deal because most of us have no reason to wear cleats.

Well it's an issue with the Raiders now that Darren McFadden has turf toe in his left foot to go along with the lingering problems with the right foot.

The thought is there's a problem with the support in McFadden's shoe making him injure his toes.

The Raiders made it known today last week's flare-up of McFadden's toe injury wasn't the right toe he hurt on Sept. 14. Instead it was his left that he hurt Oct. 19 against the New York Jets.

McFadden wore Adidas in college.

"I'm going to keep wearing Nike," McFadden said. "It's just one of those things where I have to talk to them, try to get a shoe that try to keep the foot from bending as much as it is with the turf toe. Just try to get it a little stiffer in the bottom of it."

Raiders coach Tom Cable said the priority is letting the injury heal and then finding the right shoe.

"Obviously, there's an issue so we've got to get it fixed," Cable said.

*Ronald Curry isn't happy being a special teams player.

"It's like the team gave up on me," Curry said. "I ain't gonna give up on myself. I'm just gonna keep fighting and one day I'll get another opportunity to go out there and make some plays."

Curry is making $2 million in base salary this season and is due $3.5 million in base salary next season.

He knows those numbers mean he's probably done with the Raiders after this season because that's too much money to pay a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver.

"It's all about finishing this year out," Curry said. "Obviously you go from playing to getting one or two snaps a game, the decision is being made. I'm going to go out there and continue to work at practice, work at games and once the season's over, the picture's pretty clear."

Chaz Schilens, who replaced Curry, Javon Walker and Johnnie Lee Higgins will all be back. Rookie Arman Shields is on injured reserve and figures to have a roster spot next season, too.

Curry, however, said he should have seen it coming. The team signed Drew Carter and put him ahead of Curry on the depth chart along with Walker in the offseason.

And when Carter went down with a knee injury, the Raiders signed Ashley Lelie.

"I come out the game when they're throwing the ball deep or if it's a double move or something like that," Curry said. "Or they want to get somebody else on the field, Ronald's the always the one that comes of the field to give someone else that opportunity."

Curry said there's more he can give to the offense but feels as if he was being blamed for the Raiders ranking 30th in the NFL at 161.1 passing yards a game.

"I feel like as a team as a whole that we could've played better," Curry said. "Right now we made one change, it was me."

It wasn't just that Curry was benched. He wasn't even given his old job as the third receiver.

Lelie and Higgins both play more than Curry.

"Even when I was playing we had a rotation and now we don't have a rotation," Curry said. "It's like I ain't good enough."

Curry said he was supposed to hear from Cable about the decision, but still hasn't spoken to him.

Curry went on to say the Raiders offense isn't one that asks a lot of receivers, so maybe it doesn't matter who is playing.

"It's a ball control offense," Curry said. "You go out there, you're running a lot. They don't ask the receivers but to make a play here and there. For what they're asking the receivers to do, it really don't matter whose out there if you're going to go out there and block and make try to make a play here and there. I've got a lot left in the tank. I feel great. Achilles (injuries are) behind me, bone spurs (surgery in the offseason) is behind me. I've done lost weight, 10 to 15 pounds, so I'm as light as I've ever been. I've still got a lot of football in me."

*Michael Bush is still a tailback. Cable said new addition Jason Davis would be trained as fast as possible to get on the field.

And with McFadden's bad feet, Bush is needed at tailback.

*Not that the team wanted to find out in Baltimore, but JaMarcus Russell can take a hard hit.

Several Baltimore defenders were impressed with how Russell took so many hard hits and kept getting up.

Russell acknowledged he was a little sore on Monday, but nothing he couldn't deal with.
"Being somebody almost their size, it's funny to me that when gets hit me as hard as they did, and I get right back up and kind of slap them on the butt to kind of let them know I'm going to be there all game," Russell said. "That's kind of the thing with me. You get a good lick on me, I'm going to get back up. It's not going to occur to me why I can't. I'm going to try my best to get back up and show my guys that I've got it inside of me."

*Mario Henderson ran off the field today to get the birthday cake Cornell Green was holding for him. Someone joked they hadn't seen the second-year tackle move that fast in some time.

Henderson turned 24 today.

*DE Derrick Burgess (triceps), S Gibril Wilson (toe), LB Jon Alston (foot), CB Chris Johnson (back spasms) and McFadden (toe) all did not practice.

The team is hopeful Alston could return next week. Burgess is day-to-day. Cable said Wilson's toe was "sore."

*The Raiders will have their Tickets for Kids and Tickets for Troops programs for the next two home games.

Click on the links if you want to help some children, troops or their families attend a Raider game.
--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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