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Taiwan Jones ready to carry load for Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have no choice but to lean on running back Taiwan Jones this week with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both recovering from high ankle sprains. (They both missed practice again Thursday.)

In the immortal words of Dick Vermeil, it's time to take the diapers off.

"I'm definitely excited. There's an opportunity for me to extend my role on the team," Jones said Thursday, via the Oakland Tribune. "I'm getting the opportunity, so I want to make the most of it."

Jones looked like he could be an explosive third-down back in the mold of a young Darren Sproles early last season, but he has faded into Bolivian. He wound up only getting 18 touches last season and has just two this year.

"He's been a little up and down and a little injury-plagued, so it's been kind of tough to evaluate because he's missed some time," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.

The Raiders should be able to evaluate him plenty Sunday. While the Raiders hasn't ruled out McFadden or Goodson against the Baltimore Ravens, they are expected to sit. Jones is expected to get the majority of the workload, with fullback Marcel Reece also playing a dominant role on passing downs.

Then again, maybe the Raiders will just let Carson Palmer throw it 50 times in Baltimore. The Raiders haven't been able to run even with McFadden; five times this season, they have rushed for 70 yards.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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