McFadden had been the leading contender for the job after Justin Fargas injured a hamstring early in the Raiders' second preseason game. The second-year running back will likely get the bulk of work against the Chargers while Michael Bush will back him up.
"I just think for everything that he is in terms of being multiple, running the football, catching the football," Cable said in explaining his decision to start McFadden, the team's first-round draft pick in 2008. "He's shown a high level of consistency all through camp and certainly brings some explosiveness like we're trying to build with this offense. It's probably not your typical deal where he's going to go 25 times, something like that, but he'll get the bulk of them for sure."
Fargas was scheduled to practice Thursday but was held out and Cable hasn't ruled him out for the San Diego game, though he admittedly is taking a cautious approach.
"If he can go tomorrow then I think we can talk about it," Cable said. "But right now I don't want to do anything to chance that because we're going to need that guy."
Fargas and wide receiver Chaz Schilens were the only two players who didn't practice Thursday. Schilens, who is recovering from a broken leg, is making progress toward returning but Cable said the likelihood is that he won't be back until after the Week 2 game against Kansas City.
"He is coming along really, really well right now," Cable said. "I think he'll start to move around a little bit next week. We'll see as we get into the Kansas City week where he's at. I would say doubtful for that game but soon after we should be pretty close."
In other news from Thursday:
-- Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and linebackers Kirk Morrison and Ike Ekejiuba all practiced without limitations.
-- Tackle Khalif Barnes is increasing his workload in practice but still isn't ready to resume full workouts.
-- Rookie Nick Miller was unable to finish practice due to shin splints but is still expected to return kickoffs against the Chargers. If Miller can't play, Johnnie Lee Higgins would handle all the return chores.
-- Cable said having the team practice under the lights at the Oakland Coliseum proved beneficial.
"It was great," he said. "Tonight the purpose was to get 'em out there and practice as the same time as Monday night. Got everything done. It was really kind of a review for us of what a typical Wednesday would be in terms of the base plan and all that, work the kicking game, a couple of situations but it was very good, very good."
McFadden named starting running back
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