The slumping Raiders got a jolt Wednesday when running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson returned to practice for the first time since missing three games with sprained right ankles.
Both backs got hurt in Oakland’s 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay on Nov. 4 and were finally cleared to return to practice this week. That loss started the Raiders (3-8) on a four-game losing streak that is the team’s longest in four years.
“It’s great just to see them in the huddle,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “’’It feels like it’s been a lot longer than it actually has. But just good to see them in the huddle and see them get reps and see Darren smiling and hitting the hole hard, and same thing with Goody. Good for the team but also good for the offense to have those guys back.”
Coach Dennis Allen said both backs took snaps with the first team at practice and would be evaluated as the week goes on before a decision is made on whether they will play Sunday against Cleveland (3-8).
While Oakland has missed its top two backs, fullback Marcel Reece has been a more than adequate fill-in after moving into the halfback role for the first time in his career.
The former college wide receiver has rushed for 225 yards and caught 15 passes for 175 yards the past three weeks.