It has been speculated that Darren McFadden might end up being the starting running back for the Oakland Raiders for the 2014 NFL season. Of course, this would be very true if McFadden would be able to stay healthy and stop nursing at nagging injuries like he has in every season he’s played in the league.
It was reported on the Fansided webpage on Saturday that McFadden could be the starter for the Raiders if he stays healthy and gets more practice time. Apparently, McFadden is currently taking punt returns at practice as well. This speculation implies that he's got some speed down, more than Jones-Drew perhaps?
Anyway, running back Maurice Jones-Drew was brought to the team from the Jacksonville Jaguars during the offseason, and it was thought that he was going to be the starter since McFadden is always injured. On the contrary, reporter Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times believes that McFadden might take the starting role only if the running back shows that he is very healthy.
Although Jones-Drew was more effective with the Jaguars than McFadden with the Raiders, it is believed that Jones-Drew might not have much gas in the tank like he did before. Plus, last season he was marred by injury. McFadden is still younger than Jones-Drew and is equally talented.
It is a tough decision for the Oakland Raiders to decide who will be the starting running back, especially when both backs are coming back from a last-year injury. The Raider might have to wait and see who is more explosive during preseason.
Despite the uncertainty of who will start between McFadden and Jones-Drew, it is clear that the Raiders have talent in the back field. Last season, when McFadden got injured, Rashad Jennings stepped up and earned his paycheck. Whichever one is the back up for this 2014 season, will most likely do the same as Jennings did last year.
So, who will start as the running back for the Oakland Raiders? Darren McFadden or Maurice Jones-Drew? A young talented but brittle back or a talented veteran who might not be as strong as he used to be? This is a tough one for the Oakland Raiders and will have to see these two in action for preseason.