The two most talked-about feet in Silver and Blackdom were physically absent Monday but metaphorically front and center when it came to the Raiders' injury report.Running back Darren McFadden, who has not practiced, let alone played, since suffering a right mid-foot sprain in Oakland's opening series against Kansas City on Oct. 23, was out of his walking boot Monday morning.However, receiverreturner Jacoby Ford, who suffered a sprained left foot Thursday in the Raiders' 24-17 primetime defeat of San Diego, was still utilizing his walking boot."I have a team to coach and I can't worry about all the injuries and those things," coach Hue Jackson said when asked if he monitors injuries on his own, or is he prefers to just be told when a player is ready to play.The Raiders play at Minnesota on Sunday."We have a team of doctors that handle that," Jackson added. "They're normally going to tell me when a guy can play and I trust their judgment and what they do. That's their job. I'm not a doctor. There are times when I want to know right away because as you start to build a gameplan you need to know."But we're early in the week -- it's Monday. By tomorrow when we really start laying all the foundation for a gameplan, I have to know who has a possibility of playing, at least. Nobody's been ruled out as of now, so we'll go through the week and see where we're at."On Friday, Ford spoke to reporters while on crutches and in his boot."It's feeling a little better than it did last night," Ford said at the time, "so that's a positive."It happens. You have to keep your head up and keep pushing forward."Ford was injured after catching a 41-yard pass from Carson Palmer in the first quarter and trying to spin away from the tackle of Dante Hughes. It appeared as though his foot was caught in the grass and underneath Hughes.Helped off the field, Ford was carted into the Raiders locker room but returned after halftime on crutches.He was also asked if his injury was similar to McFadden's."Nah, I don't think it's like his," Ford said. "I think it's something different. Hopefully it's not severe."In Ford's absence, rookie Denarius Moore had another breakout game with five catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. And rookie Taiwan Jones returned kickoffs.Michael Bush, meanwhile, has wracked up 99-, 96- and 157-yard rushing games with McFadden sidelined. Plus, his 242 total yards from scrimmage against San Diego on Thursday was the most since Bo Jackson had 235 against Seattle in 1987 and the most by a Raiders player since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.Jackson said McFadden is "getting closer" to returning."When I saw him he wasn't (wearing the boot)," Jackson said. "That doesn't mean that he's not using it, but when I saw him he was not in the boot at that time. I know we're getting closer to getting him back out here. I know he's working his tail off."When I saw him this morning he looked good. Until we get closer later on in the week and we know exactly where he is, I don't want to speculate."And Ford?"We're going to know more as we move through the week," Jackson said. "I don't know exactly what it iswe're going to just evaluate as we move through the week and see where he is."
The Raiders had an NFL-best seven players on the initial Pro Bowl roster. The number planning to play in the league’s all-star game continues to dwindle.
That total's down to three after left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Amari Cooper bowed out. Penn won’t be ready after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale, an ailment that kept him out of a playoff loss at Houston. Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth will take Penn’s place.
Cooper battled a shoulder injury late last season, though it's uncertain exactly what is keeping him from the game.
In addition to Penn and Cooper, Quarterback Derek Carr obviously can't play while recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also bowed out recently with what is believed to be a minor back injury.
There’s a possibility a fifth Raider will also excuse himself. Center Rodney Hudson suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs. It remains uncertain whether he’ll play in the Pro Bowl.
Safety Reggie Nelson and left guard Kelechi Osemele remain firmly in the fray at this stage.
Mike Tice’s contract expired shortly after this season’s end, but there was strong belief he would retain his post with a new deal.
A league source confirmed Wednesday that a new deal was in place for Tice to remain with the Raiders. The exact length of the contract was not disclosed. Assistant coach contracts are typically set for two years, though they can be three in some cases.
Tice was the first assistant Jack Del Rio hired after being named Raiders head coach. The two are long-time friends, dating back to days playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s.
Tice was Del Rio’s assistant head coach for three seasons in Jacksonville, which made him a natural fit for a new project in Oakland. It was a smart hire. Tice has been excellent as Raiders offensive line coach, managing and scheming for one of the NFL’s best position groups.
ESPN first reported the Tice agreement.
While offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract and is now Denver quarterbacks coach, the rest of the Raiders offensive staff remains intact.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator and his assistant Jake Peetz assumes his old post.
The Raiders still have a vacancy on the defensive side, with Marcus Robertson out and on to the Broncos staff.