The Oakland Raiders have begun their preparations for their Week 13 contest at the Miami Dolphins and odds are fairly high they will once again be without the services of running back Darren McFadden. The Raiders running back has been out of action since spraining his foot week seven against the Kansas City Chiefs.
He has missed out on virtually every practice since the injury, but he seems to be making a modest step towards returning to the field. According to John Dickinson, McFadden was on the field Monday conducting a light workout that consisted mostly of walking. Given that McFadden has not been involved in practices thus far, this is a solid step in the right direction.
There is no timetable for McFadden's return, but some speculation has the Raiders targeting week 14 against the Green Bay Packers. Oakland will need all hands on deck when they face a likely undefeated Packers squad, so any McFadden availability is a good thing.
For now, Michael Bush remains the starter, where he has done an excellent job in relief of McFadden. The Raiders hold a one-game lead on the Denver Broncos so they have a modest cushion heading into Week 13. Their margin of error isn't particularly huge, but there is some wiggle room. Accordingly, the Raiders can afford to be conservative with McFadden's recovery. If they can get him back for the final three or four games of the regular season while maintaining their AFC West lead, they will be in great shape.