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Darren McFadden to benefit with Raiders WRs ailing?

The Oakland Raiders come into this season with a crowded but intriguing group of young receivers. How many of them will be ready for the San Diego Chargers on Monday night remains a mystery.

Jacoby Ford hasn't practiced in weeks and jogged for the first time Tuesday after injuring his left foot in August. We'll let Ford describe his status for the season opener:

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"Just kind of up in the air at this point," Ford told the Contra Costa Times. "I just have to see what the coaches and the training staff think."

Ford spent 17 days with the foot lodged inside a protective boot, but time is running out to get up to speed. He's not the only pass catcher with issues:

» Fellow wide receiver Denarius Mooremissed Tuesday's practice to nurse an injured hamstring. We give Moore a better chance to play than Ford.

» Rookie Juron Criner was back at practice Tuesday after tweaking his ankle in Monday's session.

» The main beneficiary here is rookie Rod Streater, who will pick up snaps in the slot if Ford can't go. The big loser, of course, is the Raiders, who can't put their true passing attack on the field until this group gets healthy.

» The upshot, Raiders fans? All of this suggests a heavier workload for Darren McFadden. We saw last season what this team did with its No. 1 back in the lineup. McFadden hasn't been able to stay on the field, but when healthy he gives Oakland one of the game's most physical backs. With or without the young receivers, he's the beating heart of this Raiders attack.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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