Fargas' time has come

Justin Fargas, a forgotten man a year ago, has the immediate future of the Raiders' running game in his hands.

With LaMont Jordan out for the season with a torn left medial collateral ligament, Fargas, in his fourth season out of Southern California, will get his first chance to become a lead back in the NFL.

It's forward progress for a guy who has had difficulty achieving the same thing on the field in recent weeks.

"I just run the ball, man. I don't really concern myself with whether I'm one or two," Fargas said. "That doesn't change my approach to the game or my approach to running the ball. I don't really think too much about how to run."

Fargas' first three years were plagued by doubts regarding his ball security and durability. He has fumbled only once this season, recovering it himself, and has continued to hammer away despite painful shoulder and hip injuries.

After carrying five times for 28 yards in 14 games a year ago, Fargas has career highs with 89 attempts for 329 yards this season. He had 357 yards in the previous three seasons combined.

At 6-1, 220 pounds and with a good burst of speed, Fargas has run hard of late but without much success. He had 19 carries for 52 yards, a 2.7 average, against Kansas City. The previous two weeks, Fargas lost eight yards on nine carries. If Fargas is hurting, he's not going to admit it.

"It's that time of year. Everybody's banged up -- across the board, offense and defense," Fargas said. "Things are never going to be 100 percent. That's the nature of the game. You take care of yourself and fight through it."

Fargas will get help from Zack Crockett and ReShard Lee, with Joe Echemandu also likely to be activated for the first time.

"He runs hard," coach Art Shell said. "He does take some whacks, but he also delivers some blows. Justin is a tough guy."


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