There were a couple of interesting developments at running back for the Raiders today. One is fairly surprising, the other not surprising in the least. Let's start with the completely unsurprising news - Darren McFadden missed practice.
Just a week after returning to the lineup from a hamstring strain, Darren McFadden is sidelined again. It is uncertain yet whether he re-aggravated his hamstring injury or not. We'll find out when Dennis Allen addresses the media this afternoon.
The fairly surprising development is Taiwan Jones was back at running back in practice. This is the first time since last season Jones has carried the ball as a running back. Although he did carry the ball one time on a fake punt this season that went for 19 yards.
Jones had made the switch to playing cornerback last off-season and has played primarily on special teams as one of the best gunners in the game.
He had lost the coaching staff's confidence last year because of ball security issues. But he has slowly regained that confidence and the result has been he has been returning kicks the past few weeks.
Along with Darren McFadden being out, backup Jeremy Stewart is also out. This leaves the Raiders woefully thin at running back and hence the reason Jones is getting work there.
"Taiwan's played running back for us here so it's not something that's new to him," said Dennis Allen. "With Rashad [Jennings'] situation with the concussion, Jeremy and Darren's situation, not know their status for game day we gotta be prepared with the guys we have to step up. Taiwan's done a great job for us all year long on special teams. He's played at a Pro Bowl level and so having a guy with that type of versatility who can go over and play defense but yet can be a guy that can get us some snaps on offense if need be will be big for this game."
Luckily for the Raiders, Rashad Jennings has passed his concussion tests and is cleared to practice. This means the Raiders running back options are Jennings, Jones, and Marcel Reece.