Jacoby Ford’s sophomore season was filled with false starts. The NFL season itself got out of the gate late no thanks to the lockout and that surely played a role in Ford’s injury issues. Like many players around the league Ford had to deal with hamstring soreness that prevented him from getting into game shape. That would create a snowball effect that ultimate concluded with a season engine ankle injury.
Ironically Ford’s injury occurred on his longest catch of the season. Such was the nature of the 2011 campaign for Jacoby.
When he was healthy enough to compete, Ford flashed the brilliance that made him an absolute steal in the 4th round. Despite playing in only 8 games he managed to make 6 grabs of 20 yards or more, averaged 31 yards per kick return and even added to his collecting of house calls by finding the end zone twice including a 101-yard return.
What we’re all waiting for is for Ford to finally get meaningful reps with Carson Palmer. Keep in mind Palmer was without many of his best weapons during his rushed first season in Oakland. Before Ford’s season ended prematurely he and Palmer were just starting to develop a rhythm.
With a healthy Jacoby Ford the Oakland Raiders have an X-factor few teams in the league can boast of. Along with Darren McFadden, Ford gives the silver and back another player capable of changing the game with one touch. Of course keeping both Ford and Run DMC healthy is another story all together. Before last season there were no injury concerns with Ford so the real hope is that 2011 was the exception and not the rule.