ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders are finally getting a chance to see what their offense can look like with both Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden on the field.
The two stars never got a chance to play together last season with McFadden being sidelined by a season-ending foot injury earlier in the same game that Palmer made his Raiders debut.
With McFadden finally recovered and at full speed during offseason practices, and Palmer entrenched as the team's starting quarterback, the Raiders are hoping they have the building blocks for a dynamic offense.
"That's the hardest thing for me right now is you want to watch him cause he's so electrifying and he can do so many different things," Palmer said Tuesday. "But I have a job on bootlegs and things like that and I have to make sure I get him the ball and then boot, but getting him on the field is just something the defense has to key on and really focus on and it's been great to work with."
Palmer never got that chance a year ago. He was acquired by the Raiders on Oct. 18, two days after starter Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone. Palmer got only a handful of snaps with the first team in practice that week and McFadden then injured his right foot catching a pass early in the first quarter Oct. 23 against Kansas City.
McFadden said he initially didn't think the injury was that serious but that it started to feel much worse the day after. The Raiders originally described the injury as a sprained foot and designated him week-to-week. But it was actually a more serious Lisfranc injury that cost him the final nine games of the season and was a big reason why Oakland missed the playoffs.
"It was one of those things where you just hated it," McFadden said. "Week after week you're trying to get out there, and you can't get out there because your foot won't let you. One of those deals, you have to just keep going, keep pushing for it. Injuries like that take a lot of time to heal up so it's not something you can just get back out there on too soon."
McFadden said it took until early April until he could start running again and now he has no limitations. He has been running full speed and making cuts on the foot, showing signs of what he can bring to the Raiders offense this season if he can remain healthy.
That's always been the biggest question for McFadden, who has missed 19 games in his first four seasons with foot, toe, shoulder, knee and hamstring injuries. Despite that history, McFadden disagrees with the notion that he is injury prone.