With one of three picks in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders franchise selected Alabama running back Josh Jacobs. Since that time, Jacobs has emerged as one of the best young running backs in the game, leading the NFL in both rushing yards and yards from scrimmage in 2022.
This season, the Raiders rushing attack has had their struggles, as Jacobs has rushed for over 100 yards in a game only twice. He also has had some serious duds, like a -2-yard effort against Buffalo, and failing to go over 40 yards in two of his last three starts.
That last start, a 3-0 loss against the Minnesota Vikings, saw Jacobs leave via injury, and he has yet to return to the Silver and Black. Jacobs is battling through an illness and quad injury in recent weeks, and after Zamir White went off in Week 16 against Kansas City, could we have seen Jacobs's last game with the franchise?
Jacobs and the Raiders battled through a contract dispute all offseason, and after the 2023 NFL season, they could decide to save money and move on.
Raiders will have a tough decision to make with Jacobs
While Jacobs is a proven commodity in the league, the emergence of White has not been lost on the franchise. Antonio Pierce spoke this week about him earning his playing time, and even when Jacobs returns, White is going to start to get some carries.
Pierce also stated that Jacobs is the starting running back, so there is no controversy there, but White is giving the Raiders confidence that if Jacobs and they cannot get a deal done this offseason, they may have an option in-house. For the Raiders to make a significant run to the playoffs, they will need Jacobs back next week, but first, they must take care of Indianapolis on the road.
It is looking like there will be No. 8 on Sunday, but if White runs the way he did against the Chiefs, the Raiders can survive for another weekend.