During the 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Las Vegas Raiders not only lost on the scoreboard, but they also lost starting running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs had been in the midst of a sub-par season for his standards, and with a huge free agency looming, questions now arise as to whether or not he has played his last game in the Silver and Black.
If that is the case, where do the Raiders go from here? Jacobs has been a mainstay in the backfield for the Raiders since the team took him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He has rounded into one of the premier running backs in the league, and just last season, led the NFL in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.
With Jacobs possibly leaving via free agency if a new deal cannot get done, as he played on a one-year deal this past season, are the Raiders ready to hand the RB1 role over to Zamir White. With Jacobs injured for the last four games of the season, White stepped in as the feature back for Las Vegas, and he more than showed he is capable of handling the load.
But is he ready to do it for a full 17-game slate?
Raiders have a huge decision to make on White, Jacobs
Looking at the job White did in his first real attempt at running the football for the Raiders, you had to come away impressed. In a must-win game on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day, White ran wild, racking up nearly 150 yards in the Raiders shocking victory over their divisional rival.
In the season finale, White once again notched more than 100 yards on the ground against the Denver Broncos, his second big game against an AFC West foe. He finished the year with over 100 carries, more than 450 yards, and a 4.3 yards per carry average. Nearly any team in the league would take that kind of production at running back.
White did not post more than 160 carries in a season during his time at Georgia, although he was a touchdown machine, scoring 11 in each of his last two seasons with the Bulldogs. While that could be seen as a negative, it also means he has a lot of tread left on the tires, and based on his strength, would have no problem carrying it more in 2024.
Jacobs is a special talent, and the Raiders should do what they can to bring him back, but if he does leave, they are lucky to have a running back like Zamir White waiting in the wings.