Darren McFadden injury: Raiders RB may return vs. Cowboys

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The oft-injured McFadden is set for a Thanksgiving day return, but with Rashad Jennings flourishing in his absence, there may be only so many carries to go around.

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden is back at practice and may return from injury Thanksgiving day against the Dallas Cowboysthe Contra Costa Times is reporting.

If McFadden is able to go, it will be the first time he's seen the field since a hamstring injury knocked him out of a Week 9 game against the Eagles. The oft-injured injured back has missed four games this season and has yet to play in more than 13 games in a season since being selected in the first round of the 2008 draft out of Arkansas.

Even if McFadden is healthy on Thursday, he'll likely lose a significant number of carries to Rashad Jennings, the fifth-year backup who has excelled in Oakland during McFadden's absence this season. Jennings has averaged 5.7 yards per carry during the four games he's started, and he leads the league in yards from scrimmage during that stretch.

That type of production can't be ignored, said Raiders coach Dennis Allen.

"You can't deny Rashad Jennings over the last month of the season has led the NFL in yards from scrimmage," Allen said. "I think he's earned the right and deserves the right to continue to get his carries and touches and we'll still do that."

The production of both McFadden and Jennings will be interesting to keep an eye on over the final stretch of the season. McFadden is playing out the final few weeks of his original contract, and it's highly questionable whether the Raiders will be interested in re-signing a player who has missed 37 games to injury over the past six years. If Jennings continues to produce at his current pace, the team will have the leverage to move on.

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