ALAMEDA (AP) – Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden did some light jogging Tuesday but it remains uncertain whether he’ll play again this season after being sidelined with an ankle injury since mid-October.
Just seeing McFadden doing something other than watching practice counted as a milestone for the injured runner. It also gave coach Hue Jackson something to smile about after three straight losses.
“He was moving around so that’s a good thing,” Jackson said. “A couple weeks ago he attempted to do the same thing, so he has tried. We just want to make sure he’s totally where he needs to be before we put him out there.”
The same goes for wide receiver Jacoby Ford, who has also progressed to jogging after sitting out the past month with his own foot injury.
With a short week, the Raiders would be hard-pressed to get either on the field for Saturday’s game in Kansas City.
Even the regular season finale against San Diego might be a stretch because neither has practiced in more than a month – two in McFadden’s case.
There has been speculation all along that McFadden’s injury might be worse than the Raiders were letting on. He initially needed crutches to get around and wore a protective walking boot while making occasional appearances at practice.
McFadden didn’t have either as he jogged alongside Ford while the rest of their teammates practiced in preparation for the Chiefs.
Jackson continues to hold out hope that McFadden can play again this season but not at the risk of aggravating his condition. He suffered a setback after attempting to jog last month, so Jackson is taking a cautious approach.
“He just wasn’t ready for that kind of work,” Jackson said. “We have to be very careful with that. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to jeopardize his career or his opportunity to play.”
The outlook is only slightly more optimistic for quarterback Jason Campbell.
Campbell has been throwing passes up to 30 yards in his attempt to return after undergoing surgery for a broken collarbone in mid-October. He has yet to resume practicing, however, and his conditioning is also an issue.
“He’s getting closer but still, throwing and being ready to have guys coming at you, the cardio and all that, that’s a different deal,” Jackson said. “I know he’s working at it. I’m sure he’s not just whipping (the ball) like you need to throw it just yet, but he’s getting closer to that.”
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)