Michael Bush said Monday that he is ready for a full workload now that he knows his broken left thumb has healed. That's welcome news to Raiders coach Tom Cable, for he is running out of healthy bodies at running back after injuries to Darren McFadden and Michael Bennett.
McFadden and Bennett suffered hamstring injuries against the Houston Texans on Sunday in a 31-24 loss. Neither player was able to finish the game. Their status for this Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers is up in the air.
McFadden said, "I'm feeling all right," as he exited the locker room Monday. A short time later, Bush proclaimed himself ready to roll on the heels of a seven-carry effort against the Texans.
Bush is so confident in his health that he intends to practice this week without any protection for the thumb he broke in an exhibition game against the 49ers on Aug. 28.
Bush had his left thumb wrapped in the two games since he returned from the injury. As a result, he was limited to carrying the ball in his right hand.
"I'm going to practice without the whole thing so I can get back to my natural ways and not have to worry about anything," Bush said. "I caught the ball good (Sunday), didn't feel any pain when I was using it, so I'm good to go."
McFadden is tied for third in the league in rushing through four games at 392 yards. Bush has carried the ball only 10 times in two games. The only other available running back on the roster is veteran Rock Cartwright, who has not had a single rushing attempt this season.
"What we got to do is just see the severity of them," Cable said. "Neither one of them felt real bad this morning, which was good because usually the next day you know right away if you're pretty sore."
McFadden said Sunday that this injury, to the right hamstring, felt less severe than when he injured his left hamstring in training camp. That injury sidelined him for two weeks or so.
"Normal Monday, except my feelings are hurt," Gradkowski said.
The Raiders scored touchdowns on all three of their trips inside the red zone against the Texans. That matched their total from the first three games, though that came in 13 red-zone possessions.
"(We want) to see if we can really figure out what's going on with this," Cable said. "He was getting better every day and then Saturday and Sunday it got really sore doing nothing."
San Diego at Raiders, 1:15 p.m. CBS