During yesterday's practice Darren McFadden laid a hard block on linebacker Quentin Groves on a blitz pickup. It was a great block but McFadden saw the worst of it. He went to the side, visibly shaken up. He seemed fine at practice afterward but it was revealed today that he was more than shaken up. He fractured his orbital bone (eye) and will be out a while.
Hue Jackson said that McFadden would be out "a couple weeks" which is a bit of a low estimate for an injury of that kind. A fractured orbital bone can be pretty serious and take up to 6 weeks to heal, though in this case it appears not to be quite that serious.
After practice on Wednesday, he didn't have any visible swelling but seemed to be a bit woozy. If this were the regular season, the Raiders might try to get him back after 2-3 weeks but it is still the preseason, so I wouldn't expect to see him until the last game at the earliest and probably more like the opening game against Denver.
McFadden joins fellow running backs Taiwan Jones and Michael Bennett on the injured list. The Raiders are now left with just two running backs at practice -- Louis Rankin and Rock Cartwright, who had to carry the entire load for the team.
The Raiders clearly have had a lot of injuries this camp, which can be partially attributed to the long offseason with no OTA's or minicamps. But some believe the ramped up intensity of this year's camp is also a factor. If the players had a regular offseason, there would be no excuse, but jumping back into camp at this pace seems to be causing some issues.
Hue was asked about it -- to which he said, "No... I'm never going to throttle back on the intensity of our practice. There's no substitute for competing, the intensity in practice. That's the way this game is played, and we're never going to apologize for that."
Today was the day the newly signed Raiders were able to join in on the fun. There were 15 new players in total, which was supposed to bring the players practicing to a good number. But that didn't work too well because there were more than 15 players injured and the list grew longer as practice went on.
During today's practice Rolando McClain, Walter McFadden, and Derrick Jones all went out with injuries. McFadden's and McClain's injuries are not considered serious. Jones on the other hand fell to the ground clutching his ankle and had to be carted off the practice field. It looks like a high ankle sprain at least and it may just cost him a chance at making this team. He was already a long shot.
The Raiders are actively looking to bring in more players and that task is getting more and more important. Today it may have also gotten a lot easier.
The Raiders were able to restructure Stanford Routt's and Richard Seymour's contracts today. Both players received tremendous contracts this offseason before the lockout began and their salaries were hindering the Raiders from getting under the salary cap, let alone sign any new players.
These restructurings would have been better a couple of days ago as the team had hoped to retain Zach Miller. But now the Raiders should be able to extend a contract offer to free agent tight end Kevin Boss.
Boss was at Raider camp working out for the team and later had dinner with head coach Hue Jackson. According to a source, Boss is very enthusiastic about joining the Raiders. The Giants are trying hard to get him back but at this moment it appears he is giving the Raiders a chance to get their affairs in order before he makes his decision.
The tight end group pre-Boss looks pretty shoddy, though the two rookies have been impressive. They have both surprised thus far in camp. But Brandon Myers and Kevin Brock have not looked good at all. This team absolutely must bring in Kevin Boss. The indication I got was that Hue feels much the same way.
Denarius Moore stole the show again today. He had three great catches yesterday but the catch he had today dwarfed all of them. Demarcus Van Dyke was guarding him and Moore ran past him. With Demarcus in tow, Stevie Brown came over to help out. And with both DVD and Brown defending, Moore leapt up and plucked the ball out of the air in the back of the endzone. Everyone on the field and on the sideline went nuts. Everyone, including Jackson, is running out of superlatives.
"The young man can make some plays, can't he? Oh my gosh, is he something? He's fun to watch. Every day there's something. A ball goes up, he comes down with it and makes a play. He has tremendous talent. The game is not too big for him. He has that factor of making plays. There's no fear in the young man. I'm glad he's on our team."
That wasn't the only big catch he had either. He froze Sterling Moore on a double move and caught an over the shoulder long pass for a touchdown. Even more impressive was a block he laid that sprung Rock Cartwright on a swing pass. He is not a big guy at all and he blocked both Stanford Routt and Quentin Groves at one time. It prompted a few to say, "Did you see that block?"
Sterling Moore may have been burnt once by Denarius but he came back later and made some nice plays. He had two passes defended -- one on Denarius and the other on Nick Miller.
There were two interceptions today. The first was by Hiram Eugene on a bad pass from Trent Edwards. The other was a perfectly played ball by Chris Johnson who stepped in front of Chaz Schilens to intercept Jason Campbell. Chris Johnson also had a pass defended.
And speaking of Quentin Groves, he had a tough day. He got earfuls from his teammates and coaches for lapses in coverage and at one point he gave up two touchdowns on goal line drills. Both times he was in position and the back ran right by him and right through him. He was clearly distraught about it afterward.
The team brought in Darryl Blackstock to compete for playing time with Groves. Blackstock didn't look too great himself and I wouldn't be surprised if the team didn't make a few more calls. Kirk Morrison anyone?
Right now it looks like Stephon Heyer has a great chance of taking the starting spot at one of the tackle positions. He was running with the second team at left tackle but he looked quite good and I wouldn't be surprised if he were given a shot to start. He certainly had the quote of the day when I asked him if he ever played any guard.
"I played one game at guard against the Tennessee Titans last year. It was a last-ditch effort. We ran out of linemen. We ended up beating them when Vince Young threw a pass in the audience. Sorry Vince. Sorry, but you did that. He did that. I didn't do that."
He also saw Samson Satele walking by with his hair down and thought it was Troy Polamalu. At which point he started yelling out "Hey Polamalu! Did you use my Head n' Shoulders?"
No injury update section this time. The new injuries are above. The rest hasn't changed.
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The reality of Denarius Moore becomming a starter is great. Al Davis loves game breakers, and even though this is only practice, Moore is demonstrating a special ability to make plays. If Denarius keeps making spectacular catches like he is doing, my prediction of him being a starter by mid season will be wrong....He will start by the first game of the year.....
Sad to hear about DMAC. Orbital fractures are pretty serious. I would be very surprised if he is out only 2 weeks. Usually, when an MMA fighter or boxer suffers that kind of injury, he is mandated a 6-8 week time off, and is allowed only light non contact training. Football is a serious contact sport, like fighting, and it would take just one blow to that fracture to cause major damage to DMAC's health. Hue Jackson has to be cautious on his return and not rush him back into action...
By the way, I agree on the MMA thing you said, in regards to healing times, but it's not the same thing.
These guys aren't even allowed to compete with cuts to the face. Let alone broke bones. If an MMA guy has a cut that hasn't healed, they're not allowed to fight until it is. It's way more protective.
If you watch other sports like Soccer, a lot of guys play an entire season with a fully broken cheek bone, broken jaw, and stuff like that.
I realize soccer is not as tough as the nfl, but these guys still get elbowed in the face, head butted, and get big hand contact to the face all the time. You get just as bad injuries in soccer as you do in the nfl. Guys go off with broken legs, ribs, ankles, jaws, cheekbones, torn acls, ligament damage all the time.
If a guy borke is orbital in soccer, he'd probably be on the field in 2-3 weeks. Maybe less.
I think it would be the same in the NFL. Especially considering he gets to wear a helmet and lots of additional protection they can use (cheek protectors etc etc).
What I'm saying is, MMA guys are only out for 8 weeks with that injury, as they're not allowed to compete until it's 100% fixed, and signed off by medics.
I fully expect an NFL player to be at least practising within 2-3 weeks of doing that.
You cant really compare the sports of soccer and football when it comes to injuries. Almost all of a professional soccer players serious injuries will be from the waist down throughout the course of his playing career. Serious injuries above the waist are not the norm. Whereas a football player runs the risk of being injured anywhere. To suggest that a soccer player would be back quicker or would put up with more discomfort than an NFL player is wrong.
Ever worn a a helmet Chris and took a shot in the cheek pad area? I have and it bloody hurts - and its one of the least protected parts of the helmet. You cant really do a lot to protect that part as a good fitting lid aint flapping about on your head. Raiders will take no chances here and follow medical opinion.
Soccer definitely cannot be compared to football. Rugby yes. But in Rugby, if a guy has an orbital fracture he is not seeing the field until it is completely healed. What I am saying Chris, if McFadden comes back too soon and takes a hit in the helmet on the right spot, he could die. Orbital Fractures are serious. This is not an injury you can say will be fine in 2-3 weeks. Hue Jackson hopes McFadden will be out (2) weeks, but the reality is he won't. I don't know if you have ever played competitive football, Chris, but DevronRaiderUK is 100% correct about taking a shot in the cheek pad area. It does hurt, and as hard as these players are hitting, putting McFadden back in there after only (2) weeks, in my opinion, is insane....
Doing it against real, hard, bump and run, coverage, is another thing entirely.
A lot of receivers light it up in practice. Hewyard-Bey looked supreme in last years camp, making lots of spectacular grabs.
I doubt Moore will play any more than Ford did last year. As in, if he trains hard, and plays well, he may get into the line up somewhere around week 10.
Not many rookies just step into the starting line up and play well.
Why? As they usually end up running bad routes, or forgetting the play book, and causing turnovers.
You know the situation.
Moore thinks the play is a slant.
Campbell knows it's a deep route.
Moore runs the slant.
Campbell throws the deep ball.
Someone picks it off.
Moore and Campbell look at eachother with confused looks
That's the NFL baby!I just don't think head coaches will give rookie receivers the ball a lot, unless they're 200% sure they know what they're doing
if he's catching like that, he will get a lot of red zone attempts. i think he scores 4 or 5 t.d.s dont like quentin groves to begin with and i really dislike him now! gotta go, gotta go!
Great , just great. Not only is Groves not worthy of starting, he plants a helmet in DMacs face illegally and breaks his orbital bone. What a f-ckin douchebag!
and I heard it was on a lock, not even when he was carrying the ball. What a waste of a roster spot that couldve cost us our best offensive weapon we have. This guy should be riding pine all year.
@LDizzle Thanks for clarifying that for me. I was reading about him whiffing on goal line D and giving up a couple TD when I saw the piece about DMac and was like WTF is this guy doing?
@LawrenceDJahn Yes, as I mentioned, it was on a pass block. But to be fair to Groves, it was McFadden who initiated the contact. Can't really blame Groves for DMac's injury. Either way, it is a minor break and it will only keep him out part of the preseason. Not a big deal.
With all these superlatives being said about @Moore_ThanEnuff (Denarius Moore twitter) I am wondering if we have stumbled across our potential #1wr? From what I am reading he hasn't just settled in well for a rookie but seems to be playing at a standard well above his peers wearing the S&B.
Levi - How are the other rookies settling. Who seems comfortable, out of their depth, doing well and looks a potential for starter/2nd in depth chart?
The Kevin Boss thing is intriguing, he seems like he really does want to play for us and as you say 'appears he is giving the Raiders a chance to get their affairs in order before he makes his decision' which is a credit to him! Maybe more the call of playing close to home more than us but.. hey... I still like it. Also, as everyone seems to be saying that he is a tough-nosed blocking TE and with the weak OL he could actually help in a couple of needy areas.. really is the most essential thing this preseason. Has a FA ever been more needed by the Raiders? maybe not.
What I'm saying is, the chances of Denarius Moore, even catching 600-700 yards this season are slim to none.
Only Randy Moss, Tory Holt (as in hall of fame) type players come in at wide receiver, and just put up 1'000 yards. Even Reggie Wayne took 3-4 years to have a break out season.
If he can come in and give the team something like Jacoby Ford managaged - 400 yards, and some big plays - that will be great.
All I'm saying is, the vets are going to have to step up. As is Jason Campbell. He was only completing 15 passes a game last year.
@ChristopherMooney@moore_thanenuff I know the chance is slim to none, but in my best so in my Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber voice - 'So you're telling me there's a chance'.
I don't think anyone expected the season Jacoby had last season but Denarius has a Jacoby season I will be more than happy!
You never know, as they say!
Best case scenario, I'd say, is he does a Percy Harvin, and gives you 700 yards and a few big plays.
I know what you meant though. And you're right.
I'm just saying, Moore is only ever going to supplement the passing game as a rookie. Other guys are going to have to put it on their shoulders.
Either Murphy, Schillens, Heyward Bey, Ford are going to have to step up to the next level
You need to take it in context.
Raiders Bloggers were telling us how amazing Nick Miller was looking in camp last year, and how he was headed for a breakout season. He barely made the squad. They were also telling us that Darren McFadden looked terrible, and should be traded immediately..............he had a pro bowl calibre season.
Only time you'll know about any of these rookies is when they start performing in real games.
@ChristopherMooney Again, I don't know where you are getting this stuff Chris. No one said DMac looked bad in camp last year. He ALWAYS looks good in camp, every year. Last year was the first time that training camp flash showed up in the regular season.