Haynesworth sidelined again; Bodden, Dowling also out
OAKLAND, Calif. - The Patriots downgraded defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back) and cornerbacks Leigh Bodden (groin) and Ras-I Dowling (hip) to out for today’s game against the Raiders.
It is the second consecutive week the Patriots will be without Haynesworth, who practiced in a limited capacity just once last week. The Patriots re-signed veteran lineman Gerard Warren Tuesday, which should give the defense some options with rotations.
One player will have to be deactivated before today’s game. Offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer (back), tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee), and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) were listed out in Friday’s injury report.
McFadden the man The Patriots’ defensive game plan against the Raiders will probably focus on stopping running back Darren McFadden and forcing quarterback Jason Campbell to beat them.
But stopping McFadden is easier said than done this season. The Raiders’ first-round pick in 2008 is picking up right where he left off last season - he had 1,157 rushing yards in just 13 games, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Three games into the season, McFadden is the NFL’s leading rusher with 393 yards, and he’s averaging 6.4 yards per carry. And he can catch, too, with 11 receptions for 84 yards. At his clip of averaging 131 rushing yards per game, McFadden is on pace for nearly 2,100 yards, although he has not played a full season in the NFL.
“He is a great guy with the ball in his hands; tackling him will be an issue,’’ said Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, one of the players who will be assigned to contain McFadden. “He’s a big guy and he’s fast. I have a little bit of a history with him.’’
That history dates to their days in the Southeastern Conference, when Mayo was at Tennessee and McFadden at Arkansas. The Volunteers and Razorbacks split two meetings during the Mayo-McFadden years.
Against the Jets last Sunday, McFadden carried 19 times and 10 went for 3 yards or fewer. He also had runs of 12, 15, 17, 27, and 70 yards, the final one a first-half touchdown. He finished with 171 yards and two touchdowns.
That big-play capability will have the Patriots on their toes.
“He can go the distance from anywhere, you just can’t ever relax on him,’’ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
“He’s definitely an all-around back, can do it all, and he’s just a play away from making a big play so we just want to build a wall and contain him and make sure he doesn’t make that big play and get them going,’’ Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes said.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson believes McFadden has become one of the best backs in the league.
“He is as good as there is in football,’’ Jackson said.
Welch in; Chung too? The Patriots offensive line is a little deeper. Thomas Welch was promoted from the practice squad. To make room, safety Ross Ventrone was cut. Welch provides insurance for a line that will be without Vollmer. Welch was signed to the 53-man roster for the season opener. Cutting Ventrone might be a sign safety Patrick Chung will play today. Chung missed last Sunday’s game against Buffalo because of a thumb injury. Ventrone was promoted from the practice squad last week and made his NFL debut against the Bills.