Should the Oakland Raiders sit Latavius Murray for preseason?


Running back Latavius Murray has quickly emerged as one of the most important players on the Oakland Raiders, a potential breakout star in the 2015 season for the franchise after coming onto the scene last season. In two preseason games Murray has showed that he looks like the real deal, putting together impressive drives where the running back has given fans and the coaching staff the hope that the team will have a running back who can drive the ball down the field on his own legs this season.

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On Saturday night against the Vikings, Murray scored the Raiders lone touchdown, ending his night with an average yards per carry of 5.0 on four carries in the second impressive game from the third-year rusher. An even more improved version of the running back who exploded onto the scene in big games against the Chiefs and Niners last season turning heads as almost everyone is expecting a 1,000 plus yard season at minimum for Murray in 2015.

Murray’s big games have also created a debate on how much playing time head coach Jack Del Rio and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave should give their young running back in the final two preseason games. Some going as far as to suggest that Murray shouldn’t play at all during Week 3 and Week 4 of the preseason schedule as it has already been more than confirmed that the running back will be the feature back for the Raiders come the regular season.

It is an interesting debate when it comes to how much Murray should play the rest of the way in the preseason, on one hand Musgrave and Del Rio will want to see how the first unit offense does with their best running back on the field which makes it tempting to keep giving the lead running back carries. On the other an unneeded injury to Murray would be a huge blow to the team’s hopes of an improvement in the standings in 2015 under a new coaching staff. Making for a tough decision for Del Rio as he weighs his options on how many snaps to give Murray over the next two weeks.

If Murray does play, it will likely be a short stint as even in the first two games this August there hasn’t been many carries for the running back compared to what he will see once the regular season starts. That leads to low risk, but all it takes is one freak play to shut Murray down like the Green Bay Packers just experienced with Jordy Nelson. Playing your top guys in the preseason, leaving the risk of an unfortunate year ending injury with each passing snap. Making it a tough sell to play a running back who doesn’t need to develop timing as a wide receiver or quarterback on the field longer than needed, Del Rio having to decide on if the risks outweigh the benefit of the first unit offense having one of their biggest weapons on the field in the preseason.

Should Murray play in the final two preseason games? Vote on our poll below or let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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