Goodson provides big-play boost for Raiders

Goodson provides big-play boost for Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Mike Goodson is making the most of his limited opportunities as Darren McFadden's backup in Oakland.

Goodson has shown a propensity for big plays off the bench so far this season for the Raiders and has filled a void at backup running back.

Despite only 18 touches on offense, Goodson has gained more than 200 yards, scored one touchdown and provided a big spark for a team desperate to find one.

``I kind of take the glass-half-full thing,'' Goodson said. ``I get to play along with Darren McFadden. So, I know what he's going to do when he gets the ball, so I feel like I got just as much pressure on me. So, when I touch the ball, I got to make something happen every time.''

Goodson has done a good job of that so far this season for the Raiders (1-4) heading into Sunday's game against Jacksonville (1-4). He has 11 carries for 89 yards, with three of those runs going for at least 10 yards, including a key 43-yarder last week in Atlanta. That's as many big-play runs as McFadden in 73 fewer carries.

Goodson has also excelled in the screen passing game, catching seven balls for 115 yards including a 64-yard touchdown pass in Miami back in Week 2. That's one of two 20-yard receptions for Goodson so far this season.

``He can run screens, he catches the ball really well out of the backfield, he can run between the tackles, obviously he showed that last week, he can pick up pass protection, he plays special teams,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ``He's kind of just a team guy. He knows this is Darren McFadden's running game and he knows that he's kind of the lead dog in that and understands his role and just looks, any way he can help the team. He'll play on any special team you ask him to. He'll come in on third down, he'll carry the ball in short yardage, it doesn't matter. He just wants to be on the field. Just loves playing football.''

Goodson's tenure in Oakland did not get off to a rousing start. He had a scary injury early in training camp after being hit by teammate Philip Wheeler. He lay prone on the turf for about 15 minutes before being taken by ambulance to the hospital with a neck injury.

He then fumbled twice in his exhibition debut, bringing back bad memories from his time in Carolina when he fumbled six times in 2010.

``To have those two fumbles and come out, a new team, it was devastating,'' he said. ``So, to be able to get in there and make plays, it felt good.''

Now Goodson has done a good job filling a void at backup running back created when the Raiders allowed Michael Bush to leave as a free agent in the offseason.

Bush and McFadden had formed a strong duo during their time together in Oakland with Bush's power style complementing McFadden's breakaway speed. With McFadden also having a history of injuries, Bush was able to fill in capably as a starter when McFadden was unable to play. Bush actually led Oakland with 977 yards rushing last season.

McFadden has been healthy most of this season, although he did miss a little bit of time last week while being treated for a shoulder injury. That didn't end up slowing the Raiders down too much.

``It's a relief just having someone able to come in there and pick up the slack,'' McFadden said. ``He comes in there and he's going 100 miles per hour every time he's in there.''

Goodson was acquired in the offseason in a trade from Carolina for offensive tackle Bruce Campbell. He rushed 125 times for 501 yards and three touchdowns and added 43 receptions for 329 yards in three seasons with the Panthers. Goodson had three straight 100-yard rushing games and three touchdowns late in the 2010 season under former coach John Fox.

But he didn't have any carries last year under new coach Ron Rivera and caught one pass for 4 yards. Goodson is getting his chances this season, much to his delight.

``It definitely makes a difference to be able to get hit a couple of times, get yourself going, it definitely helps for a running back,'' he said.

NOTES: T Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (sprained right foot) and TE Richard Gordon (hamstring) have been ruled out for Sunday. ... OL Alex Parsons (shoulder/back) and RB Taiwan Jones (knee) are game-time decisions. ... LB Aaron Curry (knees) has practiced all week but will not be activated off the physically unable to perform list for Sunday's game.


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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

More Redskins news

-Redskins vs Jets: Must-see photos from the game
-AnalysisFive Redskins-Jets observations

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler


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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!