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ALAMEDA – Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew won’t rule himself out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. Publicly, the coaching staff has maintained a similar stance.
Though nothing formal has been announced, multiple sources have indicated that he won't be available for the home opener.
CSN Bay Area’s Fallon Smith originally reported on Wednesday that Jones-Drew had surgery on his right hand. The running back acknowledged having a procedure after Thursday’s practice, his second straight session missed.
He had a small bandage covering a surgery site just below his index finger and his entire hand was visibly swollen. Jones-Drew said his hand wasn't broken, but multiple sources have told CSN Bay Area that he did in fact break it against the New York Jets.
Head coach Dennis Allen wouldn’t acknowledge that Jones-Drew had surgery or did not disclose a formal diagnosis.
Even still, Jones-Drew isn’t expected to miss much time.
“I’d love to go out there, but it’s a long season,” Jones-Drew said. “You want to make sure that everything is right and where it needs to be.”
Jones-Drew, who is right handed, needs to be right for more than just carrying the football. His position must block well and stiff-arm when necessary. The hand is a crucial tool for the veteran’s success.
“The hand feels fine,” Jones-Drew said. “There is no pain. We need to get the swelling down. That’s the main issue.”
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson tried to use Jones-Drew as a primary back in a 19-14 loss to the New York Jets. If Jones-Drew sits out as expected, the rotation will change somewhat with Darren McFadden starting. It should also bring Latavius Murray into the mix.
“Last time we wanted to see Maurice Jones-Drew in a full-time role, but this time I’m not sure if we’ll get to see that,” Olson said. “It might be more series (specific) with Darren (McFadden) and Latavius.”