Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Darren McFadden: Updates on Raiders’ RB Battle

Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden are two veteran running backs with plenty to prove. Because of that, the Oakland Raiders have one of the preseason's most intriguing positional battles on their hands. 

McFadden missed six games due to injury last season and has never played a full, 16-game slate. With that in mind, Oakland decided to go out and get some competition in the form of MJD. Jones-Drew has had some injury issues in his own right, but he is also a three-time All-Pro.

The competition is certainly too close to call at this point, but Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that MJD has the early lead over the incumbent:

Jones-Drew is three years McFadden's senior at 29, and he has more tread on his tires with nearly 1,000 more rushes over the course of his NFL career. With that said, he has largely remained healthy in eight NFL seasons, with the exception of 2012.

MJD's track record of durability makes him a more reliable option than McFadden, but Run DMC has proven capable of being a game-changing player when he is healthy and banging on all cylinders.

Partly because of that, Nick Mensio of Rotoworld reports that McFadden has the inside track when it comes to being the starter once the regular season commences:

When push comes to shove, however, the title of starter may not mean all that much. Every NFL team needs at least a couple of backs who are capable of carrying the load, and the Raiders seem to have that with McFadden and Jones-Drew.

According to Steve Corkran of the San Jose Mercury News, head coach Dennis Allen's expectation is that both players will be key to the offense's success in 2014: "They understand that both of them are going to get an opportunity to play, both of them are going to get touches and they're competing really hard," Allen said. "It's important for both of them. B...

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