In Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins after a big gain on the first offensive play, it was apparent that Oakland Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden tweaked something in his hamstring. Fans were disappointed to see him return in street clothes in the second half, and there has been much speculation about his decision to do so. Many are asking why McFadden took it upon himself not to return to the game. Had he returned, would the outcome have been different for the Raiders?
The loss of their running back and fullback (Marcel Reece, also out for an injury) no doubt had a negative impact on the Raiders’ performance against the Redskins. Fans were unhappy when McFadden did not return in the second half, and there were many derogatory comments made about his lack to do so.
But did Darren McFadden make the right decision in not returning to the game? Absolutely.
Even though it most likely contributed to the Raiders’ loss, McFadden is reported to have avoided a “serious hamstring injury” by not continuing to play the rest of the game. While some fans regarded this move as selfish and cowardly, it appears McFadden made the best decision.
How will this help the Raiders in the future? While it is still unclear if McFadden will play against the San Diego Chargers (2-2) in this weekend’s game, authorities say his recovery time will be much shorter than if he had stayed in the game and potentially injured his hamstring more.
There is often a lot of cynicism whenever a player is injured and does not return to a game. McFadden’s case shows the ability of a player to determine whether or not he feels comfortable returning to a game, and it shows the positive effects of McFadden’s decision not to. Hopefully, he will be feeling 100% for this Sunday’s game against the Chargers.