Raiders injury update: Jennings ready for increased workload

Three and Out: Pryor returns to practice, Watson to make first NFL start

Raiders injury update: Jennings ready for increased workload
November 6, 2013, 5:30 pm
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When I was in high school, I always carried a quote with me. It says, ‘When an opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it.'
Rashad Jennings

ALAMEDA – Darren McFadden is hurt again. Odds of the Raiders running back playing Sunday against the New York Giants are slim, meaning Rashad Jennings will be called into action yet again.

He ran wild after McFadden strained a hamstring that has kept him out of all or most of three games thus far. Jennings had 102 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and seven receptions for 74 yards.

Not bad after a surprise call of duty.

Jennings' physical rushing style wore on the Eagles, although they had victory in hand early on. According to Pro Football Focus, Jennings broke six sure tackles and averaged 3.7 rushing yards after contact. That’s a huge total, as good as McFadden at his best.

Those numbers give the Raiders confidence in Jennings if, as expected, McFadden can’t go.

[RELATED: McFadden sits out Wednesday's practice]

“You guys know how explosive Darren is, when he hits a hole and only sees green and beats the remaining defender, so it’s tough, but this past game we saw Rashad make a lot of guys miss and run over a lot of guys,” quarterback Terrelle Pryor said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’re definitely going to miss Darren because he may miss the game, I don’t know. I have a lot of trust in Jennings and believe he can get the job done.”

Jennings is able to come in and play well off the bench because of a mantra he recites on a regular basis.

“When I was in high school, I always carried a quote with me,” Jennings said. “It says, ‘When an opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it.’ Every day you work and prepare as if you’re going to be the guy.”

That’s crucial playing behind the oft-injured McFadden, who has missed time in each professional season. Jennings has struggled in a starting role. He wasn’t effective filling in for an injured Maurice Jones-Drew last season, when he averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.

He’s done better this season as a starter and a backup, especially against the Eagles. Jennings doesn’t believe personal momentum can be carried over from his first 100-yard game since 2010. His focus is on winning games, nothing more.

“I feel like I left yards out there. I’m harder on myself than anybody else can be, and I have to do better and run better than I have. The only goal is to help the team win.”

Gurode returns: Veteran interior offensive lineman Andre Gurode practiced for the first time since straining his quadriceps Oct. 13 against Kansas City. He’s expected to play against the New York Giants, but coach Dennis Allen declined to say whether he’d start over struggling left guard Lucas Nix.

“We’ll see,” Allen said. “I think we’ve got to monitor him throughout the week and see how he practices and see how he looks. He was a little rusty today, but that’s to be expected after some time off. I’m not really ready to make that decision yet. We’ll see how he does this week.”

Criner in a sling: Receiver Juron Criner had his right arm in a sling while watching Wednesday’s practice. Allen said Criner sprained the acromioclavicular joint in his shoulder.

Did not practice: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), RT Tony Pashos (hip flexor), WR Juron Criner (shoulder), K Sebastian Janikowski (ribs), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs), T Matt McCants (toe), RB Darren McFadden (hamstring).
Limited participation: C/G Andre Gurode(quadriceps), WR Andre Holmes (hamstring) 
Full participation: QB Terrelle Pryor (knee), CB Tracy Porter (shoulder), WR Rod Streater (hip).
Physically unable to perform list (21-day practice window began Oct. 30): LB Miles Burris (knee)
Injured reserve: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), RB Latavius Murray (ankle), K Eddie Carmona (leg), G Tony Bergstrom (foot);
Designated to return: LT Jared Veldheer (triceps)