McFadden casts further doubt over playing status
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ALAMEDA -- Raiders running back Darren McFadden is officially listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report. That might be a shade optimistic.

While he missed a week’s practice with a hamstring injury suffered in the Washington loss, that’s not what shrouds his playing status for Sunday against San Diego in pessimism. It’s what he said in his only interview of the week.

[RELATED: Raiders injury report: Wisniewski doubtful]

“Hamstrings are one of those things you want to be careful with,” McFadden said after Friday’s practice. “I’d rather miss one or two games than to come back and pop it and miss four or five.”

One or two games? Two games would put him out against the Chargers and Chiefs heading into the bye week.

“I think it’s going to help me out a whole lot,” McFadden said. “But at the same time we’re just taking it day-to-day right now.”

There’s no guarantee McFadden will miss two games, or even one for that matter. The Raiders maintain that they’ll continue to monitor him until kickoff, that he doesn’t need practice reps to play.

”It’s an issue of, can he be effective,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “If he can be effective, he’ll be in there to play. If he can’t be, then he won’t be. It’s really pretty simple.”

McFadden said the hamstring strain impacts his ability to burst through the line and reach full speed. It’s also a source of immense frustration for a player trying to shake a reputation for being injury prone in a contract year.

“Man, I can’t even describe it and put it into words,” McFadden said. “I just try to keep my head up and keep pushing forward and stay positive.”

It’s likely the Raiders must push on without McFadden in the short term. That switches focus to Rashad Jennings, who would take over as feature back.

[RELATED: Is Jennings ready to fill in for McFadden?]

“I’m always ready,” Jennings said. “I’m approaching this week the same way I’ve been approaching any other. I’ll be ready for however many carries I get.”