Oakland Raiders News: Jacoby Ford Must Stay Healthy for Raiders to Flourish

The Oakland Raiders are going to struggle badly on offense in 2012 without Jacoby Ford.

Thankfully, the latest reports indicate that the injury to his foot aren't severe, and the team expects him to be able to return to the lineup sooner rather than later. 

CBSSports.com's Eric Gilmore reported the following: "According to coach Dennis Allen, an MRI revealed no structural damage, and Ford does not have a Lisfranc injury, which is what ended RB Darren McFadden's season last year."

Few teams have been bitten as badly by the injury bug as the Raiders thus far in 2012, so this news is welcome, indeed. 

Ford proved in 2010 that he was one of the most explosive big-play receivers in the NFL, notching 25 receptions for 470 yards—an average of 18.8 yards per reception, and two touchdowns. He battled injuries all of last season, but when he was healthy, he made big plays. 

Ford possesses a quality that the late, great Al Davis cherished above all else: speed. Davis isn't the only one who appreciates having a burner on the roster, though. With Carson Palmer at the helm, deep passing plays are going to continue to be a staple of the offense in Oakland. 

Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore are both fast as well, but neither one of them are capable of beating double teams on a consistent basis. The Raiders need three healthy receivers that can go deep in order to keep the safeties concentrating on covering the back end, thus making the running game all the more dangerous. 

If the Raiders don't have Ford, they're going to continue struggling in the passing game. If they continue struggling in the passing game, their vaunted running game will suffer. It's all about balance, and Ford is one of the key components to keeping that balance. 

Here's hoping Ford and the rest of the wide receivers can get healthy and stay healthy. If they d...

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