When running back Darren McFadden went down with a high ankle sprain in Week 9, the Raiders desperately needed and quickly found someone to replace him in the backfield. Marcel Reece stepped in and actually played better than McFadden when he was on the field, gaining 456 yards from scrimmage while the star player was sidelined for four games. But now, McFadden is on track to play Thursday night against the Broncos, and running backs coach Kelly Skipper has told the media that McFadden looks to have "his burst back." It's a well-timed return for the Raiders as Reece is dealing with hamstring and quadriceps injuries.
McFadden, Reece and Mike Goodson were all limited during Tuesday's practice, but I tentatively expect McFadden to get a comfortable majority of the touches versus Denver. Reece still saw plenty of field time in Week 13, but he got only seven carries against the Browns -- two in the second half -- as Jeremy Stewart became the team's traditional running back. Stewart is a non-factor, Goodson has likely fallen behind Reece in the pecking order, and Reece himself will likely see his touch count remain limited until he is healthy. The matchup is tough, and his numbers haven't been great, but I think McFadden is a fine RB2 this week.