Can the Oakland Raiders Rely On Darren McFadden to Stay Healthy in 2013?

(Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports)

When healthy, there’s no question Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders is capable of being one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL, but injuries have been a consistent issue throughout his five-year career as he’s yet to play a full season. Now, the main question heading into the 2013 season for the Raiders–can they rely on McFadden bouncing back after a disappointing season last year?

In 12 games last year, McFadden rushed for a total of 707 yards to go along with two touchdowns as Oakland finished the season with a disappointing 4-12 record. What’s even more disappointing is McFadden rushed for less than 70 yards in eight of the 12 games he played in–which is the last thing the Raiders want to see from a running back of his caliber.

The Raiders realize how valuable McFadden is as a running back, but finding a way to keep him healthy and live up to his value is a different story. If he could manage to stay healthy, the Raiders would have a better chance of competing in the AFC West next season, but with the way things have gone over the last five seasons–chances aren’t high at this point in the offseason.

Hopefully, 2013 will be different for McFadden and the Raiders when it comes to all of the frustrations from his first five seasons in the NFL. Otherwise, it may get to the point where Oakland may have to consider finding another running back they can rely on–which is the last thing both sides want to see happen.

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