Time for speedy Jones to step in at running back?

November 8, 2012, 12:25 am
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ALAMEDA -- With neither Darren McFadden nor Mike Goodson able to practice Wednesday, Taiwan Jones picked up the first-team reps at running back Wednesday."Hes been a little up and down," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Jones. "A little injury-prone, or injury-plagued, and so its been kind of tough to evaluate because hes missed some time. But we've got confidence in Taiwan and if hes called on to step in and play, then we fully anticipate him stepping in and perform and do his job."Jones was slowed in camp by a hamstring injury and has also dealt with knee and ribs issues."Im definitely excited," Jones said. "Theres definitely an opportunity for me to extend my role on the team. Im getting the opportunity so I want to make the most of it."Im just going to prepare for whatever play they call with my name. Im just going to prepare for it."RELATED: Ankle injuries force McFadden, Goodson to miss practice
Said quarterback Carson Palmer: "I feel like I've been waiting forever (for Jones to play a bigger role). I can't wait. He does amazing things in practice and he's by far the fastest person on the field and he will be the fastest person on the field on Sunday. And not that you want to see guys get banged up, but I'm excited about the opportunity he's gettingI mean, he's so electrifying. He puts his foot in the ground and goes. He wiggles out of hits, he wiggles out of tackles. Can't wait to throw him the ball, get him in the open field. He's so much fun to watch at practice it's, like I said, a long time coming."That the Raiders did not sign a running back spoke to the coaching staff's trust in not only Jones but, perhaps, fullback Marcel Reece and practice squad running back Jeremy Stewart. Though it had little to nothing to do with the thought that McFadden andor Goodson might be back from their respective high ankle sprains."I think its a reflection that we feel like weve got some guys in-house that we feel like could step in if need-be," Allen said. "Thats the way it is anywhere in the NFL. Its really a next-man-up philosophy and were going to have to count on some guys to step up potentially and fill a bigger role. Well know more at the end of the week exactly what weve got to do."