The Oakland Raiders have a lot riding on their final game of the 2011 NFL season. They have a chance at capturing the AFC West in Week 17 as they host the San Diego Chargers. A win on Sunday combined with a loss by the Denver Broncos would seal the deal and get the Raiders into the postseason. Wins by both teams would result in the Broncos being crowned the West champs due to tiebreak rules. There is no guarantee that the Broncos will be handed a loss by the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, but without a Raiders win over the Chargers, the result of the Broncos/Chiefs game will be a moot point.
To that end, the Raiders could use the assistance of two key players. Running back Darren McFadden has been out since November 4 with a foot injury. The Raiders have, up to this point, been very cautious about not bringing their star rusher back before he is ready. Wide receiver Jacoby Ford also has a foot injury, being listed as week to week since December 9.
On Sunday, Raiders beat reporter Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times made the following suggestion that perhaps Oakland would be willing to pull out all the stops in order to ensure a win next week:
This is purely speculation on Corkran's part, of course, but consider that Corkran is a significant and respected beat writer for the team. He, of all people, would be careful to throw around idle speculation without something substantial to back up his hunch.
Michael Bush has been filling in for McFadden during McFadden's time away with injury. Bush has been doing a very fine job, but if McFadden were available to play at close to 100 percent, he would be a valuable asset in the game against the Chargers. Likewise, while Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore have been outstanding receivers for the Raiders, it would not hurt to have an extra wideout available for Carson Palmer to target.
Defensive back Michael Huff, also mentioned in the tweet, has been out since November 10 with an ankle injury and is currently listed as week to week. Help in the secondary would be much appreciated as the Raiders will need to contain quarterback Philip Rivers, who is the main offensive weapon for the San Diego squad.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes of Corkran's hunch.
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