Don't get too excited, because it doesn't sound like Darren McFadden is ready to return from his foot sprain just yet. But at least he's upright again, walking slowly.
Here's the latest on DMC, via Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times:
Running back Darren McFadden was spotted on the practice field this morning, working out under the guidance of a team trainer. He hasn't been seen on the field since he suffered a midfoot sprain to his right foot Oct. 23.
McFadden walked around the perimeter of the near field, without a protective boot on and with no obvious sign of a limp. It wasn't much but it has to pass as progress.
At this rate, it's likely that the Raiders are targeting the Green Bay Packers game Dec. 11 as the projected return for McFadden.
If you're a McFadden owner, you'd no doubt accept a Week 14 return if that's the offer on the table. Done. Accept. But the workload to which DMC returns is another issue. Michael Bush has been the No. 2 per-game fantasy running back over the past five weeks, so he's certainly earned double-digit weekly touches, plus a goal line role. And we also have to assume that McFadden will be on a fairly strict pitch count, whenever he finally makes it back.
The best-case scenario for McFadden seems to be a return in Week 14, to a job-share role. Then you have to hope he's ready for additional work against Detroit and KC in Weeks 15-16.
Carson Palmer's outlook near-term outlook improves, because it sounds as if Denarius Moore (ankle) and Jacoby Ford (foot) could both make it back soon -- perhaps as early as Week 13, for the match-up with Miami. Moore will reportedly attempt to practice mid-week, and Ford is looking to get back within a few days, too. Here's Jacoby:
"It's kind of week-by-week, day-by-day," Ford said. "That's just kind of how we're taking it. Slow process, but it's getting there. It's definitely getting better."
"It wasn't as severe as Darren's," Ford said. "I don't think it was as bad as his. He kind of sprained the whole thing and mine is just in one spot."
Of the two, Moore seems the most likely to return this week.
If Oakland gets Moore, Ford and McFadden back in the lineup for the Green Bay match-up, then I'm setting the over/under for passing yards in that game at ... hmmm ... 705. Could be a Nintendo-style shootout, if the weather allows.
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