During the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9, veteran running back Darren McFadden re-aggravated a hamstring injury that sent him to the sidelines and forced him out for the rest of the game. McFadden ultimately finished with only 12 yards on five carries.
With McFadden stuck on the sidelines due to injury once again, the Raiders decided to give the bulk of the carries out of the backfield to Rashad Jennings for the rest of the day. Although the Raiders were already out of contention in terms of competing for a win against the Eagles, Jennings played well in the time given.
Jennings finished with a total of 102 rushing yards, 74 yards receiving and a rushing touchdown. The performance was impressive to say the least with Jennings averaging 6.8 yards per carry and catching seven passes.
Now that McFadden’s playing status is up in the air in terms of a return to the field, Jennings will likely get the start in Week 10 against the New York Giants and is more than ready to fill in for McFadden via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com:
“You prepare to start every single week,” he insisted Wednesday. “There aren’t any backups in the league; those are the guys that are at home watching on TV.
“When opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it. So, every day, be prepared to be that guy.”
With McFadden in the final year of his deal with the Raiders and the team not exactly sold on the prospect of signing him long-term, Jennings will have a perfect opportunity to make an impression in Week 10. Not only will Jennings have a shot to turn some heads against the Giants, but he may be able to earn the starting role with another solid outing.
At this point in time, the writing is on the wall in Oakland with McFadden likely to leave the team in free agency during the NFL off-season. Although McFadden has expressed a desire to stay, the team may want to allocate money to another position or a running back without persistent injury problems.