Remember when the Raiders were talking about being a running team this year? That has not exactly worked out as of yet for them. They have averaged a pitiful 64.3 yards per game so far this year, second worse in the NFL only to the Chicago Bears.
It didn't help losing Maurice Jones-Drew to a hand injury in the opening game of the season against the Jets. Jones-Drew didn't light up the place or anything with his 9 carry, 11 yard performance but still he was brought in to be a big contributor for the Raiders. He hasn't been able to contribute much as of yet, hopefully that will change this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in London.
Maurice Jones-Drew was talking with NFL Network's Terrelle Davis on Wednesday's NFL AM and it sounds like he is ready to go."Yeah, definitely," Jones-Drew said. "It's not up to me but I feel like I'll be able to play."
Having the veteran running back come back for this game would be a definite plus for the Raiders. Jones-Drew has been an elite back for most of his career and he is still eager to show that he is not over-the-hill.
We had some glimpses of his talent on display in the preseason, but his showing against the Jets was not up to par. Unfortunately, beyond being a bad performance it also was one that left him injured and unavailable for the following two games. The Raiders need a boost in their running department and Jones-Drew knows that part of that is on him.
"Just trying to get on the field and help my man (McFadden) out," Jones-Drew continued on NFL AM. "I feel we both do better if we both out there. So obviously he's been taking the brunt of the carries and the brunt of the reps, so I want to get out there and try and give him a blow here and there and let him get his legs back underneath him so he can run."
As Jones-Drew said above though, his playing is up to someone else. That someone else, of course, is Dennis Allen. DA touched on the subject in his presser earlier today.
"He was able to go out there and practice today, so that's a good sign and a good step in the positive direction as far as far as trying to have him available for the game. I'm hopeful that he'll be available."
When you put the two perspectives together it sounds like an awfully good chance that the Raiders will get MJD back for Sunday, though we do not know for sure yet. Considering the lack of attack in the rushing department any help they could get will be most welcome.
We are still waiting on an answer of how effective MJD will be for the Raiders, hopefully we will get something positive to look to for an answer to that question this Sunday. Honestly, it doesn't get much worse than averaging only 64.3 yards per game. If it does get any worse it may be time to give Marcel Reece a shot as the starting running back.