Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 24, 2008
McFadden likely to play

ALAMEDA - Running back Darren McFadden is listed as probable while still bothered by turf toe.

Raiders coach Tom Cable said McFadden's role wouldn't be scaled back, but acknowledged he's not 100 percent.

McFadden woke Thursday and said the toe was sore.

"We're still concerned, but same as yesterday," Cable said after McFadden was limited for a second consecutive practice. "He got some work in, so we'll see what he's like come Saturday."

Saturday is when the team has its walkthrough in Baltimore.

Quarterback Andrew Walter strained his calf in practice Thursday and was limited today. He's probable as is defensive tackle Gerard Warren (ankle). Warren was limited as a precaution.

If it does rain, watch to see how McFadden runs. The last time he played on a wet field, he was sliding around in Buffalo and planting off the wrong foot. Though he wouldn't admit it, his toe bothered him in that game.

Defensive end Derrick Burgess (triceps) and linebacker Jon Alston (foot) are doubtful. Cable expects to have Alston back next week.

*Still no decision on if Tyvon Branch or Johnnie Lee Higgins would be the primary kickoff returner. Based on performance the nod should go to Higgins, who wasn't doing horribly in place of Branch.

It was Branch's job until he broke his thumb in the preseason opener.

*Cable said he has no problem with McFadden trying to run over defenders rather than around them in the open field.

It would seem McFadden could do more damage by showing a little more elusiveness in those situations.

"You've got to let a runner run," Cable said. "There's one of them (against the New York Jets) certainly you could argue he might have made a move right there, but there's two others where I thought he did the right thing. You've really got to let those guys express themselves and do what they do."

*Robert Thomas will fill in for Alston in most of his special teams roles. Isaiah Ekejiuba will the be the "personal protector" for punter Shane Lechler.

Alston ran for 22 yards on a fake punt from that position.

--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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