When the 2014 NFL season kicks off, running back Darren McFadden will be one of several Oakland Raiders veterans with a point to prove.
McFadden has only played in 67 of a possible 96 games (with 51 starts) during his six-year NFL career and has never started more than 13 games in a season (those 13 starts in 2010 coincided with his best year as a pro as he rushed for 1,157 yards).
In an interview with me for Sky Sports and the NFL UK gameday magazine that will be sold at Wembley Stadium in September, McFadden admitted: “I definitely feel like I have a point to prove. People are always talking about how I’m injury-prone but I just want to let those guys know that Darren McFadden is still one of the top running backs in this league. I want to prove myself.”
During the course of his NFL career, McFadden has been sidelined by toe, foot, ankle, knee, hamstring, groin and shoulder injuries. But he insists his body is not breaking down and he is ready to record a productive 2014 campaign.
“Injuries are very frustrating,” McFadden explained. “But they are just one of those things that you cannot control. You want to be out there playing but there is nothing you can do about it. It can be very frustrating having to deal with the outside criticism.
“I feel like they have been individual cases of bad luck – I don’t feel like having to worry about my body standing up to playing in the NFL. I just have to keep my head high and keep pushing forward.”
You can watch my full interview with McFadden on Sky Sports in September.