With Reece ailing, Raiders might turn to Tonga at fullback

The Oakland Raiders have some doubt about who will be NFL rushing leader Darren McFadden's lead blocker in Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

Manase Tonga is Oakland's only healthy fullback and could make his NFL debut this weekend. Starter Marcel Reece is questionable with a lingering ankle injury, and backup Richard Gordon already has been ruled out with a broken hand.

That forced Raiders coach Hue Jackson to be creative in practice this week and opened the door for Tonga, who's on the practice squad for a second consecutive season. He took all the reps with the first-team offense during practice this week while Reece watched.

"Things are looking good, but I don't want to count my chickens before the eggs hatch," Tonga said. "I just have to make sure I'm ready."

Practice-squad players usually don't travel with teams to road games, but Tonga was the only member of the Raiders' taxi squad who joined the team for the flight to Texas. The decision to bring Tonga illustrated how concerned Oakland is about the status of Reece, who injured his ankle against the New York Jets on Sept. 25 and was inactive last week against the New England Patriots.

Reece said Friday that he was hopeful of playing in Houston, though Jackson wasn't as optimistic.

"We'll find somebody to line up back there," Jackson said. "It's going to sort itself out. We're going to have somebody back there that will block and be able to get the job done."

Notes: CB Chris Johnson (hamstring) is out, and backup Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable. That Raiders will start either Joe Porter or third-round draft pick DeMarcus Van Dyke, neither of whom has started in the NFL. ... Safeties Michael Huff (ankle) and Mike Mitchell (knee) also are on the injury report. Huff, who can play cornerback in an emergency, is questionable, and Mitchell is probable. ... DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) is the only other Oakland player ruled out for Sunday's game. ... Jackson confirmed the Raiders visited with four-time Pro Bowl DE Trevor Pryce but declined to say if it was related to Shaugnessy's injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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