ALAMEDA — Taiwan Jones is working at running back in practice Wednesday for the first time since last season.
Jones, who entered the league in 2011 as a running back, was converted to cornerback after last season by coach Dennis Allen. But the Raiders need depth at running back. Although Rashad Jennings was at practice Wednesday, Darren McFadden was out with an ankle injury.
Jennings suffered a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He won't be cleared to play Sunday against the New York Jets until he passes a series of league-mandated tests for players that suffer a concussion.
McFadden and Jeremy Stewart missed practice Wednesday.
McFadden carried the ball five times for 13 against the Cowboys in his first game back since he hurt a hamstring Nov. 3. He has played in only eight games this season, with 103 carries for 365 yards and four touchdowns.
Stewart injured a knee and an ankle against the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday.
The bulk of Jones' game action the past two seasons came as a special teams ace.
He is considered by some to have the best shot at making the Pro Bowl among Raiders players this season based on his penchant for making big plays on kick-off and punt coverage.
Jones said playing running back won't cut into his playing time on special teams. He said he expects to see action on offense against the Jets.
Jones rushed 22 times for 94 yards his first two seasons. His lone rush this season came on a fake punt.
"When I'm given the opportunity to do something, I'm going to make the most of it," Jones said. "So whatever thoughts the coaches have, they tell me what to do and I'm here to do it."
McFadden is in the final season of the six-year contract he signed with the Raiders in 2008, when he was selected with the fourth pick of the NFL draft out of Arkansas.
He has failed to live up to lofty expectations during his six-year career. He averaged 3.3 yards last season. Jennings rushed for 448 yards in the past five games in place of McFadden as the lead back.
Allen has made it clear that Jennings still is going to get his "touches," even when McFadden is healthy, based on how well Jennings has played. It remains to be seen whether Allen will use Jones at running back in a game this season.